Silicon Valley’s tech elites are spoiling for a fight against a legal immigration overhaul backed by President Donald Trump.
Last week, President Donald Trump endorsed a pro-American immigration plan by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) called the RAISE Act, which would cut legal immigration from current levels from more than one million a year to 500,000.
Tech elites, who benefit from the continued mass immigration of low-skilled, low-wage foreign nationals, are railing against the RAISE Act, claiming that any cuts to legal immigration to help Americans will hurt giant tech corporations.
Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told CNBC that the immigration overhaul would “make it harder” for Silicon Valley elites to find qualified candidates to take U.S. jobs.
“We go through ridiculous interview processes to try to find precisely the right people,” Costolo said. “They take a long time. We talk to tons of candidates, generally speaking, to find the one or two we want.”
Costolo complained that there are not enough high-skilled Americans to take engineering jobs, therefore they must be imported.
“The competition for engineers in Silicon Valley and around the world right now is extraordinary,” Costolo continued. “There aren’t enough of them, everybody’s fighting for them, we all want more. And the notion that someone else will be ahead of us in line, screening those people, and not letting us screen who we want to come work for us, is just going to make it harder for us to compete. It’s just that simple.”
At the same time, open borders activist and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-immigration lobbying group, FWD.us, has come out against the RAISE Act, claiming that by lowering the number of low-skilled immigrants coming to the U.S. to compete with Americans for jobs would depress U.S. wages.
FWD.us President Todd Schulte said in a statement:
This bill slashes overall legal immigration by 50% – the biggest reductions in a century – which would severely harm the economy and actually depress wages for Americans.
In the past, President Trump has always been correct when he repeatedly said he does NOT want to cut legal immigration. Not only do immigrants help grow the economy overall, but immigrants drive up wages for the overwhelming majority of Americans, and significantly so in areas and industries with more immigrants, where wage growth has outpaced the country overall.
We call on Congress to fix those parts of our broken immigration system that clearly need reform – but we should create a modern legal visa system for the 21st century, not enact the largest cuts to legal immigration in modern history.
FWD.us is not only funded by Zuckberg, but also by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to lobby Congress to keep the flow of cheap, foreign labor coming to the U.S.
There are four pipelines to importing low-skilled foreign nationals. Those include immigrants who come to the U.S. legally; non-immigrants who come to the U.S. on any of the employment-based visa programs available; foreign nationals who are allowed to work legally on Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) – like those given amnesty through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; and illegal aliens who enter the U.S. mostly through the southern border.
Any disruption to these pipelines of low-skilled immigration has been opposed by not only the open borders lobby, but by Silicon Valley and big business interest.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.