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March 2015

Google CEO Speaks Out For More Skilled Immigrants In The US

Published: Thursday 19 March 2015

The Chief Executive of Google has urged the American government to raise the number of H-1B visas allocated to foreign workers each year. According to Eric Schmidt, the US needs more skilled immigrants, not fewer, especially ones with specialised technical skills. “In the long list of stupid policies of the US government, I think our attitude toward immigration has got to be near the top," Schmidt told the American Enterprise Institute yesterday, when answering a question about the biggest policy change he would like to see the federal government make. “We take very, very smart people, bring them into the country, give them a diploma and kick them out where they go on to create companies that compete with us,” he added. Schmidt believes that increasing the cap currently placed on H-1B visas, which allow US employers to bring in overseas skilled workers, would help grow the economy because many immigrants will go on to become lawful permanent residents and eventually start their own businesses and hire workers. A bill sponsored by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah last year would expand the current annual cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to between 115,000 and 195,000 visas depending upon market condition and demand. However, as with most aspects pertaining to changes in the US immigration system, the proposal has been met with fierce opposition and as yet it is unclear as to whether or not such a change will be implemented in time for the 2017 fiscal year programme – petitions for the 2016 programme are set to open at the beginning of April, with the 65,000 cap expected to be reached within just five days.