MENLO PARK (CBS SF)– Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed immigration plan for workers with H-1B visas is not getting any likes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The GOP frontrunner took aim at Zuckerberg when he released his plan for immigration reform last week. It would make it more difficult and expensive for tech companies to hire foreign workers on temporary H-1B work visas for entry-level IT jobs.
Zuckerberg and a group of like-minded tech leaders has co-founded FWD.us, a pro-immigration advocacy group that has been working to make it easier for foreign IT professionals to work in the U.S. The organization released a statement calling Trump’s proposals “absurd.”
In his blog, Todd Shulte, president of FWD.us said “the idea we should radically restrict pathways for highly-skilled immigrants to come and stay here is again just wrong.”
He defended the workers who have come to the U.S. on H-1B visas.
“For every 100 H-1B workers, an additional 183 jobs among US native-born workers are created. Immigrants are nearly twice as likely to start their own business as native-born Americans,” wrote Shulte.
Silicon Valley relies heavily on Indian IT workers with H-1B visa classification. In 2014, almost 9 out of 10 of the H-1B visas granted in the U.S. were for Indian workers.
Trump’s immigration plan would raise the “prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs” and force companies to give “entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the US, instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas.” It demands that the U.S. Department of Labor require H-1B workers to be paid wages equal to their U.S. counterparts.
In his plan, Trump called Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) Zuckerberg’s “personal senator” and said “he has a bill to triple H-1B visas would decimate women and minorities.”
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.