Lee Stranahan, Breitbart, May 28, 2016
California’s high-tech business wizards like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are in full freak-out mode over Donald Trump, and the key to understanding why lies in the H-1B visa program. As a recent L.A. Times story titled “Donald Trump has done the unthinkable: Unite Silicon Valley” reports:
Ambitious start-up CEOs who swore off talking politics for fear of offending investors are enlisting in campaigns to discredit Trump. Longtime valley Republican stalwarts who have voted for every GOP nominee for decades say they can’t do it this year. The libertarian-minded innovators who just want to get government out of their way have less faith in Trump than they do in even Hillary Clinton, the Democrat with big plans to grow the bureaucracy.
“At least Clinton is not going to go in and burn the place down,” said Reed Galen, a GOP consultant who advises tech companies. “But Trump comes in, and God knows what happens.”
Take a look at a list of the top lobbyists on the issue of immigration and it’s a high-tech wonderland. Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Qualcomm, Motorola, Google, and, of course, Facebook are all the household names that are spending millions of dollars to influence politicians on immigration.
You may also remember that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg went all-in on the immigration issue, forming a new pro-comprehensive immigration reform group called FWD.us and even having a computer “hackathon” for illegal immigration as a promotional event.
Those high tech giants aren’t investing in immigration lobbying and doing hackathons because they are concerned about bedmakers and fruit pickers. No, these companies are making a business decision based on getting a return on investment; they spend money on lobbyists, and in exchange, they save more money by taking advantage of immigration programs like the H-1B visa program.
Microsoft has been a major player in H-1B lobbying and has also used the program extensively. Founder Bill Gates has even testified about the program to Congress, as part of his “sky is falling” policy proposals that included the controversial Common Core education plan. Ars-Technica wrote:
In probably the most controversial portion of his testimony, Gates said that the shortage of trained scientists and engineers had grown so severe that it required a dramatic increase in the number of highly-skilled immigrants permitted to enter the country. He charged that the current limit of 65,000 H-1B visas per year “bears no relation to the U.S. economy’s demand for skilled professionals,” and noted that all of the visas for fiscal year 2008 were snapped up on the first day they were available. As he has done before, Gates asked for a dramatic expansion of the H-1B cap.
Despite the Gates’s claims, there doesn’t appear to be any such labor shortage. One indicator is that college-educated workers in computer and math occupations saw their average hourly wage rise 5.3 percent from 2000 to 2011. That’s an average wage increase that’s just less than half a percent per year. If there were such a dire shortage in a market-based economy, you’d expect wages would have risen.