The top executive to Google’s parent company, Alphabet, says any restrictions on the H-1B foreign guest worker visa is the “stupidest policy” in the U.S.
In a discussion at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Alphabet’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said he opposed all restrictions on the H-1B visa, where currently 1.8 million foreign workers are in a multitude of U.S. jobs.
“The stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas,” Schmidt said, according to CNBC. “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 should organize our country to be the most attractive place for those people,” Schmidt continued. “Stupid government policies that restrict us from [having] a fair chance of getting those people are antithetical to our mission [and] the things we serve.”
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa. Most recently, that number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often replaced.
President of Protect U.S. Workers Sara Blackwell, who is a staunch critic of the H-1B visa, lambasted Schmidt in an interview with Breitbart Texas, saying that while American workers are being laid off and forced to train their replacements, the Alphabet executive is reaping the benefits.
“The only stupid thing would be if Americans believed these lies and propaganda,” Blackwell told Breitbart Texas. “The person who benefits from this awful use of H-1B is Eric Schmidt.”
“He wants to continue the termination of American workers and forcing them to train their foreign replacements,” Blackwell continued. “But in the end, guess who wins? Eric Schmidt, who make $108 million every year.”
If Schmidt’s suggestion that the H-1B visa be limitless, there would be no requirements on how much U.S. companies have to pay H-1B foreign guest workers and no restrictions on how many foreign workers can enter the U.S. every year.
Blackwell said Schmidt presents a “false dichotomy” of the H-1B, where lawmakers must choose between the current system, which has led to mass-layoffs of American workers, or a system where the smartest from around the world cannot enter the U.S.
“If you’re worth 10.1 billion, you can’t talk for American workers who are being hurt by the H-1B system,” Blackwell said.
As Breitbart Texas reported, Alphabet has ramped up its lobbying for more immigration and more H-1B foreign guest workers during the first months of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Alphabet remains one of the largest opponents in the tech industry to Trump’s “America First” agenda, which is why analysis by Quartz showed it had the largest uptick in pro-immigration lobbying in the first quarter of 2017. In the current quarter alone, Alphabet lobbied more for immigration than ever before since 2008.
In the past, U.S. companies have created affiliates with American universities in order to get around the cap on H-1B visas for private companies, which is set at 85,000 foreign workers a year. Between 2011 and 2014, companies like Dow Chemical, Samsung, and Monsanto successfully used the H-1B visa loophole to hire more foreign workers by partnering with universities.
The H-1B visa has not only been criticized by Trump, but also Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has blasted the visa for years in the U.S. Senate as a way for giant corporations to profit off the displacement and firing of Americans.
In a recent executive order, Trump called for a “full legal review” of the H-1B visa and its negative impacts on the wages, job opportunities and unemployment of American workers, Breitbart Texas reported.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.