Immigration and Tech Leadership

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s commencement speech at Stanford University the other week noted Reid and Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to pass immigration reform:

Many university presidents – including President Hennessy – have spoken out on this issue and the tech community here and in New York City has been very vocal. That includes Stanford alum Reid Hoffman, and also Mark Zuckerberg – who dropped out of a university often called “The Stanford of the East.”

They – and other tech leaders – are pushing for immigration reform through a new group called “Forward.”

FWD.US, the group the Mayor mentioned in his speech, recently released a short ad to prompt folks to reflect on Emma Lazarus’s famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, as a reminder of immigration’s role in our national history. Embedded below.


And here’s a photo of the Mayor, Reid, Mark Zuckerberg, and a few other FWD founders discussing immigration. It’s awesome to see so many tech and political leaders stepping up to bring awareness to the vital legislation being debated right now in Congress.

One Response to Immigration and Tech Leadership

  1. Adrien Chen is right.

    FWD.us is a self-serving stealth vehicle for Zuckerberg’s et al’s ambitions to exercise political power.

    It’s a myth that the U.S. doesn’t have enough high-skilled domestic workers to meet tech companies’ needs.

    There is no shortage of domestic IT workers, but there is a shortage of evidence that the foreign workers tech companies hire are any better than American workers.

    The real reason tech companies want to hire more high-skilled immigrants is that they can pay them less than Americans.

    “More than 80 percent of H-1B visa holders are approved to be hired at wages below those paid to American workers for comparable positions, according to EPI.”

    “And because H-1B workers and green card applicants are locked into jobs with whatever employer sponsors their visa, they have less less leverage to push for raises and promotions. As Matloff puts it, “the worker becomes a de facto indentured servant.”

    As Chen says, this kind of outsourcing benefits tech companies but hurts domestic tech workers.

    As I say, that Zuckerberg is one evil nerd.

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