Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Political junkies (like me) and immigration stakeholders (including many technology employers) have been watching as the immigration reform process moves forward in the current congressional session. After much watching and speculation (see for example, earlier posts here) about what impact this will have on the high tech industry, there is now a bill being offered in the U.S. Senate.  Presented by the so-called "Gang of Eight" - a bi-partisan group of Senate leaders, it is notable for covering pretty much everything the tech community has asked for.  A summary from last week's New York Times can be found here.  The current bill is an 844 page draft, and covers a lot of ground. There will still be much haggling before a final bill is passed into law, but at this point it is clear that Big Tech has finally gained some sense of its potential to find a political voice.

Two important features appear to be likely to pass into any final law. First, there will be improved visa availability for STEM graduates, start-up entrepreneurs and technology workers. Second, there will be stronger enforcement against visa exploitation and wage level violations by high tech "job shops". If the final law has both it can't help but be an  improvement over the current jumble.

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