America’s tech giant worries about the children of its migrant workers.
In a letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Meyerkas, a coalition of tech companies including Amazon, Google and Twitter called on that country’s government to allow children of visa holders to be over 21 years old.
More than 200,000 children of highly skilled immigrants are at risk of being expelled from the country under the current immigration system.
The idea that these children, who have lived their entire lives in the United States, cannot live on their dependent visas causes tension, anxiety and depression in families. More importantly, the tech companies that hire the majority of H-1B employees are forcing parents to reconsider their decision to live and work in the United States.
“This uncertainty is hurting families and preventing our companies from attracting and retaining critical talent in America,” the signatories write in their letter to Mayerkas. The children must either leave the country or “try to re-enter the labyrinthine, high-stakes immigration system for another visa, where options are extremely limited.”
Immigrants and their American-born children are migrating to other parts of the world, a particular threat to the US tech sector.
Bridging America’s Tech Skills Gap
In March, US companies had more than 11 million job openings, five million more than the number of eligible workers available. The demand for technology talent was particularly high.
“Many of these vacancies are high-skill positions, and US companies are hiring foreign workers to fill labor shortages,” the letter said. “These openings are especially important in light of the pandemic as the US seeks to maintain its ‘world leader’ status in terms of innovation and ingenuity.”
As a long-term solution to retaining foreign talent — and thereby maintaining America’s competitive advantage — tech companies encouraged the Biden administration to pass a bipartisan America’s Child Act.
The bill would pave the way to citizenship for these young “document dreamers” by locking their age to the date they apply for a green card. This eliminates the worry of issuing a green card after the age of 21.