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US tech leaders to push for immigration and education reform

Facebook, Google, Zynga and others form FWD.us political advocacy group

Executives from Facebook, Google, Zynga and many others have started a political advocacy group dedicated to growing the talent pool in the US.

Rumours of the group's existence started to surface last month, but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg officially announced the establishment of FWD.us this morning in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post.

"Today's economy...is based primarily on knowledge and ideas - resources that are renewable and available to everyone," Zuckerberg wrote. "To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best."

"Given all this, why do we kick out the more than 40 percent of math and science graduate students who are not US citizens after educating them? Why do we offer so few H-1B visas for talented specialists that the supply runs out within days of becoming available each year, even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return? Why don't we let entrepreneurs move here when they have what it takes to start companies that will create even more jobs?"

Zuckerberg recounted the story of his immigrant great-grandparents, calling the success their family eventually found, "the American story."

"We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," he said. "And it's a policy unfit for today's world."

The FWD.us policy agenda includes broad immigration reform, education reform in science, technology and maths, and greater investment in scientific research.

In addition to Zuckerberg, Google's Eric Schmidt and Zynga's Mark Pincus, the executives listed as "supporters" and "major contributors" of FWD.us represent virtually every major company in the American technology sector: Dropbox, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Netflix, Yahoo!, Instagram and many more.

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Latest comments (7)

Alan Ashby Recruiter, EA Sports3 years ago
H1B Visa's ran our in a week this year. Applicants were able to file a petition April 1st and by April 4th, they were all gone...all 65,000 of them. The H1B cap wasn't met till June or July last year.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@ Alan It's exciting because it shows renewed interest in working in America and pushing forward American innovation... and very stupid because it shows that once again our government is getting in the way of advancing skilled worker development in this country, both through terrible education policy that still holds back math and science and terrible immigration policy that keeps us from growing our economy.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
I think they need new thinking right inside this process. A long time ago I was going to move from the UK to Chicago (High Voltage if that dates it).

All the various paperwork went fine until the H1/B visa issue kicked in - I didn't qualify in the first lace! Now I'm of an age that there just weren't any worthwhile degree courses in computing so I never got a degree. Instead I went out into the workplace after college and learnt from the best.

The reason I'm adding this is that the rules (at least at the time) were that I needed a university degree or 12 years worth of relevant work experience. I only had 10 at the time hence the failure.

Now is there anyone here, anyone at all, that thinks 3 years of book learning is better than a decade of actually doing the job? FFS guys.
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Show all comments (7)
Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games3 years ago
why do we kick out the more than 40 percent of math and science graduate students who are not US citizens after educating them?
So that mean about 60% of them are staying. That's not enough?
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So, why dont we have a simialr policy and movement in UK, to retain, recruit and train the brightest and best to be the technological elite in the world? There is more to life than banking and football surely :)
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Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 3 years ago
@Dr. Chee Ming Wong: " There is more to life than banking and football surely :)"

Of course...betting seems to be the latest trend for UKers these days
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
@Dr Chee. Probably because the left and all the "poor" people would label it as elitist. And that's apparently bad.
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