Washington: US IT sector and business groups, including technology giants Google and Apple, have applauded President Joe Biden’s steps to initiate immigration reforms. These companies have underlined that the move by Joe Biden would boost American economy, create jobs and attract and retain the best talent from across the world.
On day one of his presidency Biden sent a comprehensive immigration bill Wednesday to the Congress. It proposes major overhauls to the system, including granting legal status and a path to citizenship to tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants and other groups and reduces the time that family members must wait outside the US for green cards.
Called the ‘US Citizenship Act of 2021’, the legislation modernises the immigration system. It also proposes to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based green cards. It is a move that would benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.
Apple CEO Tim Cook welcomed President Biden’s ‘commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects the American values of justice, fairness and dignity’.
“This effort will strengthen American communities and the pathways to opportunity this country has long fostered,” Cook said in a statement Thursday.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a tweet Thursday applauded Biden’s quick action on COVID relief, Paris climate accord and immigration reform. “Google has supported action on these important issues & we look forward to working with the new administration to help the US recover from the pandemic + grow our economy,” said India-born Pichai.
US tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft employ a huge number of IT professionals from countries like India and China.
Biden also issued Wednesday a series of executive orders. They ranged from rejoining the Paris agreement on climate change, halting America’s withdrawal from the World Health Organisation, revoking Muslim travel ban, stopping immediate construction of Mexico border wall and extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme for another four years.
“The Biden-Harris administration’s planned actions make important and overdue investments in immigration reforms that can successfully meet the demands of a globally competitive, digital economy, including expanded visa programmes for high-skilled workers and families,” said Jason Oxman, president and chief executive officer of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).
The Trump administration had extended the freeze on H-1B visas along with other types of work visas and green cards until March 31. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.