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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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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.