Saturday, April 13, 2013

Silicon Valley stymied on immigrant worker plan


Google, Intel, HP and other tech firms backed a pair of proposals this year to increase H-1B visas. They're now bogged down in the political mess known as "comprehensive" immigration reform.  
Silicon Valley firms aren't going to get the immigration changes they want, at least not right away.
Straightforward fixes to a legal framework that just about everyone agrees is broken -- the fixes would let foreign engineers and scientists remain in the United States post-graduation -- have run aground on the usual shoals of special interest politicking and partisan bickering.
Technology companies were hoping for prompt action on a pair of bills introduced this year that would ease a shortage of skilled workers, in part by expanding the H-1B visa program. It's a bipartisan idea backed by Microsoft, Facebook, Google, the Consumer Electronics Association (which organizes CES), TechAmerica, TechNet, and the wireless providers' CTIA trade association.

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