Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

Summary: More than 60 leaders of Silicon Valley companies descended on Washington, D.C.

SHARE:

More than 60 leaders of Silicon Valley companies descended on Washington, D.C. yesterday and today to lobby Congress and the Obama Administration on matters facing the technology sector.

The most pressing issues for the organization: corporate tax reform, foreign-trade agreements and greater access to skilled labor, which means relaxing H-1B visa quotas.

The TechNet delegation was expected to be led by co-chairmen John Chambers, CEO of Cisco and John Doer, a partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well as representatives of Microsoft, NASDAQ OMX Group and the New York Stock Exchange.

Yesterday, the Senate passed "first-to-file" patent reform, which had been opposed by many in Silicon Valley.

Tops on the group's agenda this week is tax reform, according to a statement released yesterday.

America's outdated corporate tax code has put U.S. employers at a competitive disadvantage in today's global economy. Currently, more than $1 trillion in American businesses' earnings are trapped overseas. We should move now to allow these businesses the freedom to bring this money home and invest it back into our still fragile economy. The basic operating rules of our international tax system were put in place some 50 years ago and the last significant overhaul of our tax system in 1986, 25 years ago. The world has changed dramatically since that time. In fact, many TechNet companies did not exist 25 years ago. The time has come to modernize America's corporate tax system to keep the U.S. competitive in the new global economy.

H-1B visa reform has been a priority for TechNet and the group will ask policymakers to raise the current limit on this particular class of foreign-born workers. The group has long sought a doubling of the current limit to 70,000 visas.

Each year, roughly approximately 70,000 students earn a graduate degree in engineering. However, about half of all students in America's STEM graduate programs are foreign born who may not be allowed to work in the country once the program is completed. TechNet remains a strong proponent for the immigration reform necessary to keep the world's best and brightest in the United States. But TechNet recognizes that no one policy or program will remedy the engineering crisis. To build the kind of workforce that can fill the well-paying, highly-skilled jobs now being created, the United States must look at both short-term and long-term solutions. TechNet proposes to double the number of American engineers to approximately 70,000 each year to meet the growing demand for high skilled jobs in the next ten years.

TechNet will also lobby policy makers for:

Expected house calls the group will make while in the nation's capital (according to National Journal's Tech Daily Dose):

The executives will meet with a range of government officials, including, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz were also on the schedule.

Related Content:

Topics: IT Employment, Banking, CXO, Government, Government US

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

29 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • H1-B Means Cheap Slave Labor

    The purpose of the H1-B visa program is to import cheap Slave Labor and to then lay off the American workers.
    dave_94302
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @dave_94302 <br>Your language is a little harsh, but you have hit the nail on the head. The companies typically pay H-1B's dimes on the dollar, and subsequently work them to death. I've seen the timesheets, the paychecks and the invoices, so I know what I'm talking about. When the H-1B's are green carded, the companies fire them and hire new H-1B's. In the meantime, it depresses the market rates for the citizens who actually have the required skills, effectively forcing them to take subsistence wages to compete in the labor market, or see employment in other sectors.

      And don't even get me started on the companies that scoop up the H-1B's, when they aren't even technology companies, but rather recruiting/staffing firms.
      <br><br>The H-1B program has outlived it's (very short) usefulness.
      matricellc
      • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

        @matricellc

        a little harsh? Hah! You don't know me very well.
        This sort of language is wimpy and moderate.

        I think that employers who hire H1-Bs and then lay off Americans should be tarred and feathered. Publicly. On You-Tube.
        dave_94302
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      Does anyone even for one moment stop to consider what we could be doing to ourselves with this program??? We get people from questionable areas of the world (i.e. who may hate americans for whatever reason) educate them and then allow them unfettered access to our most sensitive computer systems. Why would our government and corporate morons not consider that these folk could be leaving backdoors for themselves all over these systems so they can go home and create mischief or technological terrorism when they break back in. I've heard of companies holding the passports of h1-b employees forcing them to work long hours with low pay and no overtime. It wasn't until very recently that the government setup a mechanism for complaints against companies that abuse h1-B employees but you can bet that many are too afraid to complain. You have slave owners stacking these people in small housing and charging them exhorbitant amounts for rent, utilities, and food so that in effect they are working and get to keep nothing because it all goes to the slave owner that got them here on these fraudulent visas. I don't buy for one moment that there are no qualfied american workers...there may not be any qualfied american workers who will work for nothing and put up with wage and hour violations...... I think members of INS should pose as workers in these programs so that they can see for themselves the sorts of abuses perpetrated. No we don't need more h-1b we need companies force to hire american workers over foreigners, I don't buy the "they'll just move to asia" argument, it costs quite a lot to do that. If they do it I say good riddance and they should be prevented from doing business in the USA.
      suemccartin
  • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

    H1-B? Not a dime. In fact, these tech companies should have to pay $50,000 per H1-B which it directly turned around for engineering scholarships for US citizens.
    swade2569
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @swade2569
      AGREED!!!
      Hasam1991
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @swade2569
      I agree. Also add L1 visas and other gimmicks used to bring and train Indians here and then to move the jobs overseas.
      Linux Geek
    • I love this idea.

      @swade2569 came up with a perfect solution.
      If the H-1B applicant is SO needed, and the company can't find ANYONE in the U.S. who will can fill the position, then let them pay something to the country to justify bringing in a foreign employee. This is a FANTASTIC idea!!!
      I'm tired of companies hiring cheap foreign labor to take the place of U.S. employees. If they paid the same I would be less inclined to complain, but they rarely do, holding the visa over the employees head like an axe.
      el1jones
  • I've got a better solution!!!

    "Each year, roughly approximately 70,000 students earn a graduate degree in engineering. However, about half of all students in America?s STEM graduate programs are foreign born who may not be allowed to work in the country once the program is completed."

    Try this: cut the number of student visas in half. Let's start educating our own! My tax $$$ going to state universities should be helping educate my fellow citizens, not my foreign competitors.

    LISTEN UP, Congress!!!
    Techboy_z
    • Congress doesn't read this...

      @techboy_z
      I don't agree that cutting student visas is the solution. Our universities draw in lots of foreign money to our soil (translate: tax revenue at all levels). Also, overseas students pay a premium to go to schools receiving federal and state funding.

      However, if you're concerned, write or call your senators and rep. If you've got some friends who agree, get some signatures. That's what I'm doing.
      matricellc
      • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

        @matricellc
        no more!!
        Hasam1991
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @techboy_z

      I agree 100%, tax payer funded state schools should be limited to US citizens. We have many private schools that are not tax payer funded that F1 Visas students can and do attend like Yale. We created state schools to educate the working poor which are getting turned away at alarming rates. We have only 130 million jobs in the US. What are the children to do for a living? Trades are being done from south of the boarder and STEM from India and China. Walk into a high tech company in the Silicon Valley and over 80% of the employees are here on an H-1B or L1 Visas. This is nuts!
      thurberdog
      • While I understand your concern...

        ...about the funding going to U.S. citizens, the schools bring in foreign students is needed to bring cultural diversity and exchange among the students. You don't want students who have NO idea what the rest of the world is like.
        Yet, I have to agree that the majority of the funding needs to go to U.S. students.
        el1jones
  • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

    Congress - get it? By repeating the same lies these Tech CEOs want you to think they are true. Offshore workers don't have special skills, they're just cheap, check the ads these USA jobs (only avail in India) rarely require education or experience. Check out thousands of US jobs only available offshore and ask these CEOs and Congress why they support segregated employment and why they refuse to give Americans a chance to compete for jobs in our own country. www.twitter.com/usjobsoffshored
    Qualified US Worker
  • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

    Really brilliant folks, cut foreign students and H1-B visa and millions of American will be put back to work. Sounds like your brains are in fantasy land. Yea right all you do is send the company to India folks and you still be bumming around. Perhaps if you do not like the situation why don?t you get off your duff and start your own high tech company. You can hire all the Americans you want and deal with the real business world.
    Now there are some good points but cutting engineer degree foreigners is not the answerer; It is not using them in the lab. Keep engineers in the cube designing the good and put vocational train tech to do the all dirty work. One does not need a four year degree to be an assembler, test tech or a service tech but I see it all the time.
    Richardbz
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @ Richard B The US workers who have lost our jobs through no fault of our own, and forced to train, our foreign replacements are not living in dreamland. Convicted felon Jack Abramoff, Microsoft, and corrupt politicians created these fraudulent corporate visa programs to benefit greedy billionaires. American citizens are not stupid and we are not going to roll over and play dead while surrendering our paychecks to self proclaimed ?best and brightest? ? people, like you, who lack even basic English grammar skills.
      Qualified US Worker
      • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

        @Qualified US Worker
        "American citizens are not stupid and we are not going to roll over and play dead while surrendering our paychecks to self proclaimed best and brightest people, like you, "

        As you might have noted I not the brightest but tell me again who rolling over me who beleves one lives by my own wit or you who thinks the world owes you a living.


        who lack even basic English grammar skills.
        I am a product of teh Us eduication system, a system about keeping buruacrats employed than helping me . ( I turnd off the spell cherk)
        Richardbz
    • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

      @Richard B

      You are a dalit.
      dave_94302
      • RE: Tech CEOs visit capital to lobby for tax reform, H-1B visas

        @dave_94302
        I am in the USA
        Richardbz
  • If You Don't like this, Call Congress

    Just Google for "immigration subcommittee site:house.gov"

    Then, pick a member and call their Washington office.
    It will be in the 202 area code, usually in the 225 exchange.
    Ask to speak to the staffer who handles immigration issues.
    Speak the truth about H1-B.
    Do not use the word "raghead".

    Remember, the TechNet people have either just visited or will be arriving shortly.


    Have fun.
    dave_94302