On Thursday, Intel joined a growing list of high-tech and other companies backing amnesty before House Republicans unveil their “immigration principles” document.
“One of the most difficult challenges of immigration reform – and perhaps the key to whether reform is accomplished this year – is how to treat the roughly 11.5 million people currently living in the United States without authorization,” Peter Muller wrote on the company’s policy blog. “There is general agreement that deporting so many people is the wrong approach, but there is no consensus on what status these unauthorized immigrants should be granted and what path, if any, they should ultimately have toward citizenship.”
He then writes that Intel “strongly supports” reform “of the immigration system for highly skilled workers,” which he says is unlikely to go forward until the pathway to citizenship issue is resolved.
“Intel has been a vocal advocate for reform that allows U.S. companies better access to foreign born workers graduating from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, math and engineering,” he writes. “With three quarters of our advance manufacturing and R&D done in the United States, we rely on the ability to hire top talent, no matter where they were born.”
Muller cites House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who has said that he sees “no reason” why illegal immigrants should not be granted amnesty, in a National Foundation for American Policy analysis of why there may be fewer illegal immigrants that will be able to apply for amnesty under the House plan than under the Senate’s. Miller then concedes, though, that this “analysis is based on broad understanding of Chairman Goodlatte’s proposal and actual legislation has yet to be introduced. It is possible that the House of Representatives could choose a different approach or that advocates for the undocumented will find this proposal insufficient.”
High-tech companies like Intel have repeatedly been citing the supposed shortage of American high-tech workers, which studies have shown is a myth, to push amnesty. The massive influx of foreign workers in the high-tech sectors, though, would lower the wages of American high-tech workers, which is partly why the Congressional Budget Office determined that the pathway to citizenship provision in the Senate’s immigration bill would lower the wages of American workers.