Despite serious misgivings, Monday saw a meeting between Silicon Valley’s top titans of technology and President Donald Trump. It appeared to reveal a softening of the President’s strict stance on work US visas. Trump promised to work with everyone, including Congress, to ensure that companies on the cutting edge of immigration can hire the employees they want.
The meeting was helmed by billionaire investor, Peter Thiel, one of Trump’s few supporters in Silicon Valley, and Jared Kirshner, Trump’s son-in-law. The H-1B US visa issue had been listed for discussion in the meeting. Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, says that the President intended to listen to what the tech giants had to say, and appeared to do so.
The issue of how to ensure the H-1B US visa program could end abuse while still ensuring that US visas are given to the highest-paid and highest-skilled workers has been a contentious one for the Trump administration. This marked the first time the President has responded in a positive manner to Silicon Valley concerns that their staffing is being adversely affected by his position on immigration and US visa issues.
Tech giants, including the likes of Bill Gates, have stated that high-skilled foreign workers, especially those who come to the US via academia for PhDs and Master’s degrees, should immediately get a green card on graduation, rather than have to go through legal hoops to stay in the country.