Virgil Goode, The Hill, July 9, 2019
Silicon Valley says it loves diversity, but the industry only wants workers from one country — and it’s not America.
An estimated 71 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign-born. The majority are Indian nationals; nearly 70 percent of those who come on H-1B visas — a favorite of Big Tech — hail from India. Additionally, many tech firms have a sizable presence in India itself.
And the reason tech giants love Indian-born workers? They tend to work for far less than American workers.
Unfortunately, Congress wants to advance Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would eliminate country caps on immigration and allow Indians to monopolize the share of green cards. It’s estimated that Indians would take at least 75 percent of all employment-based visas if the bill passes.
This bill is great for Silicon Valley, but bad for high-skilled American workers. As OpenSecrets reported, “a significant portion of the lobbying done in favor of” the bill “was bankrolled by tech companies.” With this act, foreign-born workers would make up an even greater share of the tech workforce, for haf the pay, and Americans with STEM degrees would get the short end of the stick.
Big Tech frames their support for the bill as opposition to discrimination.
The real discrimination comes from Silicon Valley’s hiring, not America’s sensible country caps. Unlike Big Tech’s workforce, the country caps strive for diversity and prevent one nationality from dominating our immigration system.
Silicon Valley giants frequently preach empty platitudes about the value of diversity for employees and customers. However, seeking primarily foreign-born Indian tech workers is not diverse. A truly diverse workforce would be one made up of American citizens from many different backgrounds. Silicon Valley’s workforce does not promote America’s best interests, and exposes the hypocrisy of its platitudes.
Congress should encourage Big Tech to change its ways. We should insist these companies hire Americans before recruiting cheap labor from one part of the world. What’s the point in an American getting a STEM degree if our tech corporations won’t hire Americans?