Google Calls For Expansion Of H-1B Visa Program

    June 6, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

In lieu of recent history, parents may one day tell their kids, "President? But why? When you grow up, you could work at Google." With over a million resumes per year, Google can afford to be choosey, and doesn’t like having its talent pool options narrowed.

Ninety percent of Google US employees are American citizens or permanent residents, Keith Wolfe and Pablo Chavez assure readers of the Google Public Policy Blog, in response to criticism of the company’s support of expanding the controversial H-1B visa program. The other ten percent are pulled temporarily (and cheaply, argue critics) from abroad.

Wolfe and Chavez bemoan the fact that tens of thousands of foreign workers will be denied entry into the US; less than half of those who submitted applications this year will be approved. Google itself submitted 300 H-1B applications. As a result, Google is urging the US government to raise the "artificially low cap."

They write: "[I]f we’re to remain an innovative company — one that is creating jobs in the U.S. every day — we also need to hire exceptional candidates who happen to have been born elsewhere. After all, if we were to hire only U.S.-born talent, we would effectively close ourselves off from most of the world’s population…."

It may be important to note that no Google Public Policy Blog post comes without a certain amount of strategic timing. H-1B visas were a hot topic in Washington this week, including an announced Department of Labor audit of "Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year" Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, a law firm with intimate ties to Intel, HP, IBM, Sun* and Oracle.

The H-1B visa subject is a touchy one, especially in light of American corporations actively exploiting loopholes to avoid hiring more expensive American employees. Google, at least, has that ninety percent American-made label to point to.

Before Google, CEO Eric Schmidt headed up Sun Microsystems.