When Obama did not give the high-tech industry as many guest-worker visas as it wanted via executive action, the industry became tepid in its support of Obama’s executive amnesty. The White House is now reportedly trying to mollify the high tech industry.
Obama hinted that he would unilaterally expand the number of foreign guest-worker visas in the weeks leading up to his executive amnesty announcement. The tech industry, which has spent millions trying to get massive increases in H-1B visas, was also optimistic after having met with White House officials to get their share of the executive action pie. In return, the tech industry vowed to offer the White House more cover for its executive amnesty. But the White House ultimately concluded that Obama did not have the legal authority to unilaterally grant the tech industry increases in H-1B visas.
According to a Politico report, White House officials have “been in touch with members of the tech community to express disappointment with the industry’s lackluster reaction to the executive actions Obama announced last month.” They have reportedly been “reaching out to the tech community to explain the limits of the president’s authority on this issue and encourage a continued push for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.” The tech industry reportedly believes that Obama “oversold and under-delivered.”
As Breitbart News recently reported, tech industry lobbyists are pushing for piecemeal legislation to secure increases in guest-worker visas in the next Congress. Led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) in the House and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the Senate, GOP leaders have indicated in recent weeks that the GOP-led Congress may be ready to move on such a bill, perhaps using it as a gateway to a more comprehensive immigration bill.
Despite the tech industry’s claims of a shortage of American high-tech workers, numerous nonpartisan scholars and studies have debunked those charges. Even Obama implied that he knows the tech industry’s claims are bogus, especially as companies like Microsoft are set to layoff 18,000 American workers.
“I’m generally skeptical when you hear employers say, ‘oh we just can’t find any Americans to do the job,'” Obama said during a recent immigration event in Nashville. “A lot of times what they really mean is that it’s a lot cheaper to potentially hire somebody who has just come here before they know better.”