The Titans of Silicon Valley may be up in arms over immigration, and plastered on the cover of newspapers and magazines disgusted by Donald Trump’s immigration policies. But the soldiers on the front line of this fight are really the IT executives from India. Some recently came to Capitol Hill to discuss what one foreign lobbyist referred to as the “most toxic visa in Washington.” They’re not here to discuss bleeding heart issues like deportation orders and “dreamers”. They are here to speak about what Silicon Valley executives like Mark Zuckerberg rarely speak about: H1-B visas. Instead, they provide loose overtures to not being able to hire global talent, but that has absolutely nothing to do with illegal immigration and Middle East travel bans.
The H1-B visa is much less controversial, but a lot more important. It is the hallmark of every Indian IT company operating in the U.S. Infosys, Wipro. Tata Consultancy, Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies are the top Indian-owned companies importing foreign workers. In fact, of the top 10 companies that petition for the 85,000 H1-B visas issued annually, five are Indian. Cognizant, Accenture, Amazon, IBM and Deloitte are the biggest U.S. users. For them, it is best to let India take the slings and arrows. Because if it becomes harder for Indian companies to bring in foreign workers under the program then, in theory, those workers would go to India’s rivals instead.
As it is, 70.9% of all applicants were from India in 2015. China came in distant second at 9.7% and Canada was in third at an even more distant 1.3%, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The only country on Trump’s previous seven-nation travel ban that has participated in the H1-B visa program is Iran. They account for 0.4% of all H1-B applications. […]
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Here’s What’s Really On Silicon Valley’s Mind Regarding Immigration