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Silicon Valley's H-1B immigration position has some holes

Matt Weinberger | Dec. 5, 2014
The key is that H-1B visa lets foreign skilled workers stay in the U.S. for up to six years.

There's a lot of good work being done in addressing that gap: A very popular article called "Refactoring the Mirrortocracy" by Carlos Bueno gave the phenomenon a name and some practical advice on how to address it by integrating feedback loops and simply practicing. 

"More generally, confirmation bias and stereotype threat are real. If you expect women to be less technical or intelligent, that's what you'll see," writes Bueno.

Nobody's arguing that immigration doesn't need reform — the process for workers entering the United States is byzantine and at times asinine. As the New York Times reports, Zenefits co-founder Laks Srini had to be officially hired by his co-founder Parker Conrad as a database administrator just to get a work permit transferred from a former employer. That same report has numerous tales about immigrants who would and wouldn't affected by Obama's proposed reforms. Anecdotally, everybody in tech seems to have an immigration horror story about themselves or coworkers. 

But it would certainly be nice for Facebook, Microsoft, FWD.us, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and anybody else looking for cheap skilled labor to at least attempt to remedy their own inequalities with the qualified people willing and ready to work in the U.S. before they try to get a bigger slice of H-1Bs from a bigger pie. That kind of change, by the way, would also free up more of the visas now available.

If they can't do that, maybe Silicon Valley should face the fact that it just wants cheap labor, rather than pretend like nobody here is worth hiring. 

 

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