When Washington D.C. threatened to raise the price of an Uber cab by a few dollars, the online community staged a full-fledged panic attack. Yet it barely whispered a peep of discontent when Congress introduced a bill to alleviate the high-skilled immigrant crunch for tech companies. Yesterday’s defeat of the STEM Jobs Act, which would have added 55,000 visas for foreign-born science grads from American universities, illustrates an important lesson for those who think that netizens vote as a bloc for innovation issues: tech policy, like all policy, is local.
The technology industry, and especially Silicon Valley, is having a terrible time recruiting enough talented engineers, programmers, and mathematicians. Despite Computer Science becoming Stanford’s most popular major, American universities have not kept pace with the national need for STEM graduates. One easy (if contentious) solution widely supported by the biggest names in technology is to open the visa flood gates of eagerly patriotic young foreigners with a penchant for building technology. Yesterday, House Republicans proposed a law that would swap the 55,000 visas allotted to underrepresented nations, such as those in Africa, and reallocate them to foriegn-born students with a STEM graduate degree. Even after a full-court press by the industry’s most well-funded lobbyists, the measure was defeated by. . . (READ MORE)
Article by: Gregory Ferenstein
Published at: Techcrunch.com