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US high-tech industry against immigration bill

May 28, 2007 09:37 IST

The high-tech industry in the US has opposed the immigration bill being debated in the Senate, saying the measure as currently drafted would harm the American technology industry.

The Information Technology Association of America, a lobbying group representing high-tech companies, says the bill won't do enough to compensate for a shortage of skilled workers and will make it more difficult to hire qualified people from overseas.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, ITAA president and CEO, Phillip J Bond, said America's economy is strong and vibrant, but the country's future competitiveness rests on the ability of firms to recruit globally.

"As you know, the H1-B cap for FY '08 was reached in April, shutting out US employers from recruiting highly skilled foreign nationals who are graduating from US institutions with degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics and other scientific and technical fields.

"Vacancies go unfilled and highly valued workers are forced to leave the country. Even worse, significant shortages exist in the permanent resident visa (green card) programme," Bond said.

Jeff Lande, a senior vice-president at the ITAA said the industry wants more people to be able to come into the country to fill shortages.

"We also want more green cards because for many companies they want someone to come in here who can innovate for their companies work for their companies and who can transition to permanent status," Lande told the National Public Radio.

Meenakshi Ganjoo in Silicon Valley
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