Technology issues are never a big deal in presidential elections, as much as some people think they should be.
One that Big Tech is trying to push, though is the H-1B visa situation. Bill Gates has been lobbying hard
on the issue and now Google has signaled it's a big concern for them as well.
On Google's Public Policy Blog, Keith Wolfe and Pablo Chavez write that 30 percent of the company's 300 H-1B applications were denied. That's gonna happen when you have 10 times as many applications as are allowed under the 65,000 cap.
We realize that many people have strong views on the topic of immigration. Some commenters to our recent post on H-1Bs criticized Google for not hiring more Americans. Although we're committed to hiring outstanding American candidates, Google hires employees based on skills and qualifications, not on nationality. Many times our strongest candidates are Americans; in fact, about nine out of ten of our U.S.-based employees are citizens or permanent residents. But if we're to remain an innovative company -- one that is creating jobs in the U.S. every day -- we also need to hire exceptional candidates who happen to have been born elsewhere. After all, if we were to hire only U.S.-born talent, we would effectively close ourselves off from most of the world's population, and tools like Google News and orkut (both of which were invented by former H-1B visa holders) may have never been developed.
The limits are restricting technology from hiring the best candidates from around the world, Google said, and putting U.S. companies at a global disadvantage.
Simply put, restricting Google and other tech companies from employing the best and brightest minds is restrictive to our ability to grow and innovate.
We continue to urge the U.S. government to raise the H-1B cap, to ensure that we and other American companies are able to attract, hire, and retain the world's top talent.
Should the government respond to these appeals by raising the H-1B cap or by – finally -- investing properly in math/science/technology education? (Does anyone even know what it would take to get U.S. education delivering topnotch mathsci ed?) While Google's post also boasted about their investments in U.S. education, that's a hard problem compared to getting Congress to putting a "1" in front of that 65,000 number.