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Trump has warned H-1B visas are being used to bring cheap labour to the US
Before he was elected to be the following US president, Donald Trump had garnered the support of only one dominant billionaire in Silicon Valley: Facebook board member, founder of PayPal and Peter Thiel.
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This week, Silicon Valley could not disguise its disappointment with the election result — with some venture capitalists and start-up founders even discussing a campaign for an independent California — while chief executives resorted to pledges to work collectively to make the world a much better place, with or without authorities.
” said an entrepreneur, Vivek Wadwha and Stanford fellow. On how a Trump management could affect web neutrality and tax, cyber security and trade questions flew.
The chief executive of cloud computing business Box, Aaron Levie, said seeing Mr Trump win had been “amazingly stressful” and “painful” for many in Silicon Valley who support greater equality.
But amid a sense of bewildered detachment in the remaining part of the US, a serious business issue emerged — that Mr Trump’s strategy for a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants could end up hurting Silicon Valley’s growth prospects. The industry is worried he could procrastinate their hiring programmes dependent on H1B visas or allow it to be harder for them to fund foreign start-up creators.
Given the rate of growth we're seeing in so many different technology businesses from Facebook to Uber to Google or a company like Box, there’s only a shortage of really great ability,” Mr Levie said. “When you've got unbelievable talent that wants to work in your organisation, but you might be keeping them from doing this, that's fatal to competition and initiation.”
mit Kumar, chief executive at Trimian, an app programmer with employees in Silicon Valley and India, said a limitation of H1B visas for skilled guest workers could push on technology companies to invest more in foreign offices, like makers who'd moved abroad.
“If you can’t hire a certain man and bring them to lead more growth here, what might end up happening is you hire in India and China and Mexico he said. “It could not be good for Silicon Valley when it comes to jobs.”
In February, former IT workers were invited by Mr Trump on stage at a rally, as he argued that the H-1B visa is being used as a cheap labour programme, from Walt Disney, who'd were laid off and replaced from India.
HR practice leader at CEB, Brian Kropp, who works at tech firms with human resource officers, is encouraging them to make fewer foreign employees to be coped with by “Plan Bs”.
“It is totally unclear what is going to happen. At different points during the campaign, Trump said everything from completely shutting down the H-1B programme to making changes to it he said.
The US tech industry has lobbied for a simpler method to recruit talent — but it could get harder. It does appear highly likely there will be a set of rules that can dramatically ratchet immigration general back ” Mr Kropp said.
Companies fear losing out to other nascent Silicon-branded technology hubs that may hire foreign software engineers easily, start-ups worry talented expats will simply have the capacity to work at firms with large legal departments, and immigrants are worried they may be forced back to their home countries.
I occasionally hear about people agitating to try to make employers pay illegal immigrants the same as legal workers.
I have to laugh, because they don't get it. The whole point of using illegal immigrants is because you can get away with paying them low wages. For basic unskilled labor, this normally means less than minimum wage.