Big Tech policymakers have stepped up their operation to persuade Congress to implement immigration reforms by the end of the year, arguing that doing so will help address the national security concerns that led to the recent passage of a legislation supporting science and technology. Tech executives state they want to persuade Congress to add measures to attract foreign talent to U.S. enterprises in order to make the bill approved three months ago, which intends to reinvest in local chip production and scientific research, a reality.
Discussions on immigration reform this Congress, particularly changes to important employment-based immigration programs for foreign professionals with advanced degrees, have been overshadowed by worries over rising migration numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border. The tech industry, however, aspires to tie the problem to the bill’s stated objectives, which include bringing semiconductor production back to American soil and improving competitiveness against competitors like China. This law is known as the CHIPS and Science Act.
The head of government affairs and public policy at Google, Karan Bhatia, argues that immigration reforms are a vital and necessary follow-up to funding local technical innovation. Google has also attempted to contribute to the resolve of immigration problems more frequently in recent years. This past year, Congress came very close to incorporating certain immigration-related provisions in the science and technology package. Provisions in the House version that would have established a startup visa program and simplified the visa application procedure for foreign nationals with advanced degrees in science were dropped during talks with the Senate over the bill’s scope.