Washington, Aug 21 (IANS) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s pitch to curb work visas for skilled foreign employees has not gone down well with the Silicon Valley with several bigwigs, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, slamming the proposal.
Fwd.us, a group founded by Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and others to lobby for issues important to the tech industry — such as immigration reform — has argued in favour of increasing, not decreasing, the number of H-1B visas, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Silicon Valley companies rely on the visas to bring in foreign engineers.
“The idea we should radically restrict pathways for highly-skilled immigrants to come and stay here is – again – just wrong,” Fwd.us president Todd Schulte wrote in a blog post.
“The evidence is clear that high-skilled immigrants create American jobs,” he added in response to Trump’s recently released immigration plan.
Trump said foreign workers were using the H-1B programme to take jobs away from Americans, and he wanted to raise the wages paid to H-1B holders to make it less attractive to employers.
On the contrary, Schulte put forth the idea of start-up-visas – a new category of visas for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start their businesses in the US.
Yves Pitton, chairman of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco was reported as saying that restricting the volume of H-1B visas posed a serious problem for companies in their search for talent.
“The war for talent is really hot here right now,” he said.