Facebook's Zuckerberg Pushes Immigration Change

12 Apr 2013


Immigration News

Tech industry wades into immigration debate with new advocacy group.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday formally announced FWD.us, a new group made up of tech industry executives who will promote changes to the nation's immigration laws.

"We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," Zuckerberg said in an op-ed in The Washington Post. "And it's a policy unfit for today's world."

Among Zuckerberg's proposals: better border security and a path to citizenship for immigrants to "attract the most talented, hardest-working people, no matter where they were born."

Zuckerberg described encountering a promising middle-school student while teaching an entrepreneurship class – only to learn the Mexican-born child might not be able to attend college because he is an undocumented immigrant.

Some of Silicon Valley's biggest names are joining the effort, including Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman.

FWD.us will operate as a non-profit, allowing it to accept unlimited contributions to help shape the policy debate on immigration.

The tech industry has pushed for years to dramatically expand the number of visas available to high-tech workers.

The U.S. sets an annual limit of 65,000 H1-B visas that are designed specifically for scientists, engineers, computer programmers and others in the high-tech field. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services opened up the application process on April 1, and the cap was reached within one week. An additional 20,000 visas are available to foreigners who graduate from U.S. universities with a master's degree.

"Why do we offer so few H1-B visas for talented specialists … even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return?" Zuckerberg wrote.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/04/11/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-immigration-lobbying/2073601/


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