In the Nation's Interest
How Bezos, Cook Can Get Immigration Reform Back on Trump’s Agenda
by Steve Odland June 19, 2017
Tech titans Ginni Rometty of IBM, Tim Cook of Apple and Jeff Bezos of Amazon are among those expected to meet with the Trump administration for a tech summit at the White House June 19-23.
The inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council is the perfect place for these CEOs to leverage their expertise and name recognition to get immigration reform back on the GOPs front burner.
Among the issues that warrant discussion: reforming the rules around H-1B visas. By doing so, occupations that struggle with high vacancies – including shortages affecting the tech industry – would attract more highly skilled foreign-born workers. America's economic pie and ability to innovate would increase as a result.
As the administration knows, many flaws afflict the current immigration system. For example, despite today's unprecedented level of global competition, family reunification – not labor force needs – still ranks as the top factor in determining who receives one of the limited U.S. visas each year. And the system allocates just 14 percent of immigrant visas for employment purposes, with less than half of those going to the primary immigrants actually coming here to work. (More than half that come in on employment-based visas are spouses or children of the worker.)