back to article Tech titans team up to push immigration reform

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have formed a political lobbying organization, dubbed, to press for more H-1B visas for industry, a comprehensive revamp of the US education and patent systems, and a pathway for talented people now in the US illegally to gain citizenship. "In a knowledge economy, the most …


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  1. MissingSecurity

    The real reason...

    H-1B's are a cause for concern is because most of them are held by off-shoring third party firms, to bring over "talent" to learn the systems than send them back. It's a way for companies to cheaply train people to do jobs that would otherwise cost them more, and have knowledge people over seas.

    NPR did and excellent story on it. I don't want to defend this notion of "the outsiders are stealing our jobs", but it has a very similar impact.

    I'm all for granting visas and citizen ship, Bring them over, make the citizens, or bring them over for work, but pay them same that any other worker would be paid if they lived in the US. I am not particular thrilled on how companies are exploiting them. I don't think FB or Google et al have any intention of bring over talent to fill a gap, but rather bring over talent for a period, than send them back with the knowledge to work for lower cost.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real reason...

      "I don't think FB or Google et al have any intention of bring over talent to fill a gap, but rather bring over talent for a period, than send them back with the knowledge to work for LOWER COST."


    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: The real reason...

      True. Or we could fix our education system. Or implement a system whereby if a company wants to bring someone into the country, someone already there (who hasn't ever worked but could have) gets to swap and have their 'vacation' paid for by additional taxes on the inbound person or additional taxes pay for education.

      We have too many people who are unemployable through their own choice, we have too many people trained in things they wanted to do, not that we need as a society, we have a poor education system that obviously isn't serving our needs.

      Also why does google, fb etc not just open an office over there and keep the programmers in India or wherever? Easier, cheaper etc. Intel has offices abroad (don't they have a significant design facility in Israel?). It's coding, it's not like there is a complicated supply chain to manage or local resources to keep close to. Hell one guy even managed to outsource his work to China for ages before anyone noticed! I just think the current situation is not the best answer for the entire country (but is for a few companies), unpopular as my thoughts may be :)

  2. pixl97

    Headline Fixed.

    The schools in America are turning out too few students willing to work tech jobs for minimum wage.

  3. Turtle


    If Facebook, Google, and the rest of the Silicon Valley pigopolists are for it, it is almost certainly bad for everyone else. While it is true that the educational and patent systems could be usefully reformed, those are not the people whose ideas will prove beneficial to anyone except themselves.

    1. Turtle

      Li'l Syntactical Correction Re: If...

      "...those are not the people whose ideas will prove beneficial (to anyone except themselves.)"


  4. me051375

    I agree in the need to invest and attract talent to lead us forward but is the plan going to include the talent that is already in their "own back yard"? Because the U.S. education system needs reform, we are currently missing out on a rich resource of talent in the U.S. that is currently stymied by economic barriers. Unless powerful entrepreneurs, such as Zuckerberg, include a plan for uncovering the talent already here, further economic barriers will grow and increase the chasm that already exists. The last thing we want is to create an unwanted side-effect in an attempt to move us all forward. I think we all need to take a leaf out of's book and go right into the heart of the areas we identify as "problems" and make a change. Who knows, the next Bill Gates may be living in the ghettos of South-West Philadelphia.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Exactly, and attracting talent should be about the best and the brightest, not entry level engineering jobs. We should have a system that brings the very best talent out there into the economy, not those in the 'engine room'.

      Bringing in BSc's does very little for improving the chance of people at the bottom of the ladder moving up, bringing in people at the top of the ladder creates more ladders.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Damn yankees coming here taking our jobs

    America is the size of a continent and yet people from other states are allowed to come here to Silicon valley and steal our jobs.

    If restricting skilled immigration from overseas will help America then it's obvious that restricting skilled immigration from other states will help California. How are people supposed to earn $200K in San Fransisco if people are allowed to just come in from Texas or North Carolina and compete for jobs.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn yankees coming here taking our jobs

      I can't tell if you are serious, but since you brought up "skilled"...

      Dennis Ritchie

      Born: September 9, 1941

      Bronxville, New York, U.S.

      Linus Torvalds

      Born: Linus Benedict Torvalds

      December 28, 1969 (age 43)

      Helsinki, Finland

      ...sort of looks like the East is winning near and far :-/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bjarne Stroustrup - Århus, Denmark

        (Of course he/she isn't serious)

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Damn yankees coming here taking our jobs

      Maybe you should restrict the immigrants from other counties and cities within the state was well.

      Because states are the same as nations.

      derp derp derp

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...Zuckerberg claims that every extra visa recipient will go on to create two or three more American jobs."

    3 more jobs? It appears FaceB0rk is taking whatever numeric base they use to guesstimate their ~users~, into the global job market. Of course, they should be able to get help with ironing out this mystery base system from the labor department, for they have been using it for decades in regards to unemployment rates.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge

    Sheep poop

    ...and nobody is buying it.

    Their ulterior is as transparent as it gets: drive down wages.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's also people like this

    who floated the idea (fnar fnar) of having outsourced workers on barges in international waters so they could avoid pesky things like worker's rights or any sort of union interference.

    taking everything they say now with a gallon of saltwater.

  9. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Why not try capitalism?

    Have companies bid real $$$$ for H1B visas

    That way Apple/Google/Msft can hire the best in the world, startups can hire that world class expert (without having to have a $M legal dept) and Indian offshoring firms bringing in 1000s of 'consultants' for a year couldn't

    I realise that for a massive state controlled bureaucracy like the USA, free market capitalism might be a difficult concept - but give it a try

  10. YARR

    Cut the lies - it's just pure naked corporate self-interest!

    If you are a multinational company with a networked workforce, why do you need to import workers to the US, rather than employ them where they live? In many instances if would be cheaper to employ these talented people in their own country.

    Is the real reason that you want to undercut the wage levels of workers in the US so that you can cream off even larger profits? Is compounding the issue of not hiring older workers really taking the US or the world "fwd" rather than backwards? Is robbing developing nations in particular of their talented young people going to aid the development of those countries?

    "Zuckerberg argues that it's insanity to deport 40 per cent of non-US math and science students after paying for their education"

    Seriously, why are US students subsidizing non-US students to attend their universities while "US schools" have a "critical lack of funding"? If they could cut the huge cost of degrees by 40% more Americans could afford to go to university and fill the apparent skills shortage. Also, they might accept lower salaries if their education costs were less, so you can make larger profits!

    In what way do the "benefits of the inventions" currently only belong to the few, and how will undercutting US wages improve this alleged situation?

    "It might seem odd that a nation largely populated by immigrants should feel so strongly about slamming down the gates".

    Why does it seem odd? First nation Americans didn't welcome large numbers of new settlers to America. Historically, welcoming immigrants is the exception rather than the rule for most countries.

    "Here in California the farming industry would collapse overnight if the flow of illegal workers was stopped, and it's unlikely that farmers could find enough locals to fill the back-breaking harvesting work without having to pay a lot more than current rates."

    True, so illegal immigration is suppressing wages of Americans, and criminally exploiting illegal workers. If they were forced to pay higher wages, food would cost a higher % of family income like it used to, and there would be fewer obese Americans. The higher cost of farm laborers would stimulate investment in developing agricultural technology. This would have more practical benefit to society than time-wasting social networking sites that have to be ad supported because no-one is willing to pay for them. Does social networking boost American exports? Do ad-supported businesses grow the economy or simply feed off it, like lawyers?

    "American firms are also unwilling to hire older workers over fears of crippling health care costs from insurance companies."

    Ah, so discrimination is alive and well in the land of the free and home of the brave. Nothing is done about it though because it doesn't affect the interests of America's new elite ruling class.

  11. J 3

    More radical

    I myself am for a much more radical solution, one that I will never see happen (will anyone? probably not). I mean the end of all borders. Damn things are just results of historical accidents that only exist in people's minds, and are just a mentality leftover from kingdoms. If money can go wherever it pleases nowadays, why shouldn't people be allowed to do the same? As a good side-effect, conditions should improve a bit everywhere, I believe. Because, let's be honest, people will only care about what affects them. If millions of Africans living in misery were able to go wherever they wanted, people in the "rich" world would try really hard to actually improve things in Africa for once, and corrupt Africans would try to be less parasitic of their neighbors.

    Anyway, nothing I said has anything to do with H1Bs (I used to have one, in science, which is not restricted by the limits given to corporate use) but that was on purpose.

  12. Steve Button Silver badge

    So, No degree = No Visa?

    I'm just asking.

    I've got nearly 25 years of experience and would quite like the option of working in the US, if only for a couple of years. From the look of things I can't.

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