The Global Innovation Forum and several other groups (see picture) put together a very informative discussion on immigration reform and its impact on high-technology companies and university research. PADT’s Eric Miller was asked to server on the panel and share our experience with the immigration process and how the current system impacts our business.
We learned several key things during the discussion:
- The need for immigration reform is a high priority item across high technology industry companies.
- The issues that companies have with the current immigration system seem to be consistent: not enough H1B visas, a lottery system that is often overwhelmed by a few large companies, once a year lottery, and the non-portability of a visa if the immigrant changes jobs.
- The Senate comprehensive reform bill actually addresses many of the concerns raised, but it is stalled in the US House of Representatives. It may pass in pieces.
- There is strong consensus on most details of immigration reform, the sticking point seems to be what to do about those who are currently in the country without a visa or a clear path to one.
- We learned a lot about the significant problems that students and professors face when they are studying/working in the US on an educational visa. It especially impacts their family.
This group seems to be trying to advocate a common sense approach to fixing our immigration system. A very interesting meeting and it was an honor to participate.
We encourage all of you to engage in such a discussion and change the dialog to think of immigration comprehensively and update our system so that the US can continue its leadership in the areas of innovation and research.