US tech companies are continuing to press lawmakers into relaxing immigration laws, even as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is threatening raise the minimum wage for foreign workers.
During a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, representatives of top U.S. technology companies, including Microsoft and Facebook, urged leaders to put an end to the widespread skill shortage in the U.S. tech industry.
“This is no longer a Microsoft, Facebook, or Amazon issue. Companies are only as good as the people we hire,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer, during the discussion, according to a report on CNET.
Investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is one of the solutions, but some analysts say this is a long-term dream.
Donald Trump has often stated that he believes the STEM shortage is a myth. “We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program,” reads an excerpt from Trump’s immigration plan.
More than anything else, Trump has proposed raising the minimum wage for H-1B visa holders. Such a rise, he believes, will scare American companies from hiring foreign workers.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is talking of relaxing immigration laws. She believes that foreign high-skilled workers create more jobs and strengthen the US tech industry. If elected to power, Clinton is likely to allow foreign tech graduates to stay in US to work for domestic companies instead of returning home immediately.
“Far too often, we require talented persons from other countries who are trained in U.S. universities to return home, rather than stay in here and continue to contribute to our economy,” says Clinton’s campaign website.