A top-ranking official of software giant Microsoft says that the United States needs to reform its current immigration policies in order to keep high skill workers in the country.
According to Brad Smith, General Counsel of the company during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing in the issue, “If done right, attracting the talents of the best and brightest from other countries can help, rather than hurt, prospects for American workers because in an innovation economy, jobs beget jobs.”
He also detailed that while there is high unemployment in the country, many jobs for high skilled technology workers remain vacant and wanting for warm bodies.
In contrast, a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Ronil Hira said that foreign workers are actually taking jobs from American workers in the technology sector. According to him, “For at least the past five years the employers receiving the most H-1B and L-1 visas are using them to offshore tens of thousands of high-wage, high-skilled American jobs.”
He further added that the technology industry is just one amongst the many sectors affected by the ailing economy. In the end though, both Democrats and Republicans agreed in undertaking reforms in the high-skill immigration programs should be made a priority.