US presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for major reforms to the United States' skilled labour and set himself up in opposition to Mark Zuckerberg.
Trump singled out Zuckerberg with the release of his immigration reform policy that, among other things, details a plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
He also thinks reform of the H-1B visa is necessary, because it makes it cheaper for technology companies to hire migrant workers than to hire American citizens.
The H-1B visa is widely used by US technology companies, especially multinationals, as a way to bring people from their other offices to the USA. The visa is also highly prized by technology professionals around the world because it allows entry as a temporary worker along with one's spouse and children. H-1B visas also makes it possible to apply for permanent residency, or a “green card”.
The US government puts an annual cap on H-1B visas but issues more than 100,000 in most years.
Trump thinks that's too many. Here's his thoughts on the subject:
We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program's lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program.
Next comes the swing at a Republican rival:
Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.
Trump's picked on Zuckerberg on the grounds of his leadership of FWD.us, a lobby group that thinks the USA needs more skilled immigration. The group's stated position is that “America’s broken system prevents far too many talented immigrants from fully contributing to our communities and our economy.” The more smart people make it to the USA, the group says, the more jobs will be created for Americans.
The Trump believes the US should instead adopt a “Requirement to hire American workers first” because “Too many visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement.”
FWD.us' blog and Twitter feed are yet to dignify Trump with a response. ®