US President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was certainly one of the most interesting campaigns in recent memory and major attraction of his campaign promises was his predilection towards making the immigration process harder for international workers to increase employment opportunities for US citizens. The promise has understandably attracted fair share of criticisms from different experts and Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt has said that all of his effort to put the voice against the H1-B cap has been “trumped” by the recent travel ban.
He spoke at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab yesterday and said, “I spent the last 20 years announcing that the single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas.”
“I have recently been trumped by an America where you take the highly legal and highly technical people of seven countries … and you keep them trapped at JFK so our lawyers can spring them out.”
As of now, the H1-B visa has a cap of 65,000 skilled workers which are putting the tech companies under pressure as they often use the H1-B route to hire highly skilled workers. As the current Trump administration is pushing the companies to hire US citizens, the companies are currently considering different options about the hiring process.
Talking about only hiring US citizens, he said, “A properly-run company is really about having the best people in the world,” he said. “We want the best people in the world, regardless of any form of sex, race, country, what-have-you. We want them to work for us and not our competitors. We want 100 percent market share of all those people.”
“We should organize our country to be the most attractive place for those people. Stupid government policies that restrict us from giving us a fair chance of getting those people are antithetical to our mission and the things we serve.”
“Let’s get the smartest people in the world, bring them into the United States, educate them to their teeth and kick them out because we don’t want them here. They might pose a danger.”
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks regarding the situation although recently several reports mentioned that Trump was sympathetic towards Microsoft CEO’s argument that hiring through H1-B gives US increased advantage in science and technology. However, given that he introduced travel ban to several countries, we’ll have to wait and see if we get similar orders in the coming months.