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More H-1B visas, McCain's top priority

May 23, 2008

"I believe we have to secure our borders, but we must enact comprehensive immigration reforms. And we must make it our top priority," Senator John McCain told chief executives of several high-tech companies on Thursday, when he visited the Silicon Valley for a fundraiser event.

Praising the innovative strengths of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, McCain said California's booming technology industry was proof of American competitiveness and why the United States needs to keep international commerce as open as possible, without erecting new barriers that would impede progress and growth.

McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, was flanked by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman, at a roundtable discussion on high-tech innovation on the production floor at Finelite, a maker of lighting systems for offices and schools.

The declaration came after several Silicon Valley CEOs complained about the need for highly skilled employees and the problems they face over the cap on visas for skilled workers.

Text and photographs: Rujuta Paradkar in Silicon Valley

Image: Senator John McCain at a roundtable discussion on high-tech innovation.

Also read: 'Hillary, Obama, McCain all want more H-1B visas'

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