America losing technology workers denied in visa lottery

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerman, recently sent President Obama and legislative leaders a letter urging them to help reform the current immigration system which he called “outdated and inefficient.” He cited an issue that The Business Council has addressed here in New York, finding qualified, highly-skilled professionals to fill open jobs. Zuckerman is referencing the 85,000 H-1B visas that make up the U.S. government limit for this year. More than a hundred corporate heads and associations, including several members of The Business Council, signed on to the letter.

Here’s a snippet of that letter:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs requiring highly skilled individuals. Five high-tech companies alone – IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm – have combined 10,000 openings in the United States. Each one of these jobs has thepotential to create many others, directly and indirectly. Bipartisan legislation currently introduced in theSenate, such as The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, and bi-partisan legislation focused onaddressing the needs of entrepreneurs and start ups such as the Startup Visa Act and Startup Act 3.0, willencourage innovation here in the U.S. by allowing American companies and entrepreneurs to have accessto the talented workers they need while simultaneously investing in STEM education here in the U.S. We know what it will take to keep America in a position of global leadership. We know that when America is leading, our economic growth follows to the benefit of our nation’s workforce.

We call on you to address the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign,and to enact immigration reform this year. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues in a bipartisan way as we move forward in our common interest.

Click here to see the full text.

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