WASHINGTON: An advocacy group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has slammed US presidential aspirant Donald Trump for his proposed immigration policy which would make it tougher for US companies to hire people on H-1B visas, hugely popular with Indian IT professionals.
In a blog post yesterday, FWD.US president Todd Shulte, said Trump's immigration policy on H-1B visas would have a direct impact on America's leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship, and it would also cost a whopping USD 400-500 billion to report all the 11.5 million illegal immigrants.
FWD.US is a leading US advocacy group founded and backed by Zuckerberg and other likeminded info-tech companies pushing for massive immigration that would make it easier for Indian IT professionals to come to the US.
Almost 86 per cent of the H-1B visas that the US granted last year for computer jobs had gone to Indian workers, a Computerworld analysis of government data showed last week.
"The idea we should radically restrict pathways for highly-skilled immigrants to come and stay here is – again – just wrong," Shulte wrote in his blog, days after Republican candidate Trump singled out the Facebook founder by name as he announced his immigration policy, wherein he proposed to raise the minimum wage for the popular H-1B visas, which at present is mandated to 65,000 per annum.
"Mark Zuckerberg's personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1B that would decimate women and minorities," Trump had said.
In his blog, Shulte said sectors with high percentages of H1-Bs not only have unemployment rates substantially lower than the national average, but those geographic areas with more H1-Bs have higher economic growth.
Nearly, 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have been founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.
"For every 100 H-1B workers, an additional 183 jobs among US native-born workers are created. Immigrants are nearly twice as likely to start their own business as native-born Americans," he added.
"We need to fix our nation's badly broken immigration system so that more highly-skilled immigrants can create jobs here in the US – and that we can continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest from all over the world; our global competitors aren't waiting while we waste time," he wrote.
That means creating a Startup Visa to help entrepreneurs create the next generation of innovation here in the US; it means clearing the green card backlog to allow those who qualify and want to stay here to build their lives and grow our economy, and it means increasing the numbers of H-1B visas and reforming the program so that we don't run out of spots in the current yearly allotment for this critical program within only a few days every year, he added.