Google Goes To D.C., Addresses Immigration

    June 6, 2007

When a homeless person says something, not many people listen.  When your average middle-class person speaks, he (or she) might, at best, be able to get on the local news.  But when Google talks, nothing short of Congress itself is ready to pay attention, and that was the case as Laszlo Bock laid out his company’s case for more H-1B visas.

Bock serves as Vice President of People Operations at the search engine corporation, and, as reported by the AP’s Dibya Sarkar, his appearance marks the first time any of Google’s executives have testified about immigration in front of Congress.

Sarkar conveyed Bock’s main message: “American technology companies will lose highly skilled foreign workers to Indian and Chinese rivals if the country’s work-visa program is not fixed.”

Bock also, according to CNET’s Google+Foreign+workers+are+key+to+our+success/2100-1028_3-6189093.html” title=”Google Favors More H-1B Visas”>Anne Broache, emphasized the importance that those workers have played in Google’s own past.  “Within Google, there are countless examples of immigrants and nonimmigrant foreign workers playing a vital role in our company,” he stated.

As for the future, Bock continued, “It is no stretch to say that without these employees, we might not be able to develop future revolutionary products like the next Gmail or the next Google Earth.”

It could be difficult to poke holes in Bock’s arguments – Google has been immensely successful, stayed unexpectedly “good,” and, as far as anyone knows, not created any terrorists.  But, lawmakers being what they are, I’m sure someone will find a way.  And this debate affects many more people and companies than just those based out of Mountain View.

Still, Google got to go to Washington, and that’s pretty interesting.