OVERNIGHT TECH: House Judiciary Committee to examine high-skilled immigration reform

Wadhwa conducted research with his team at Stanford, Duke and UC-Berkeley that found that current U.S. immigration rules for high-skilled immigrants "are chasing away this talent." He will argue that foreign graduate students from American colleges have difficulty getting a temporary work visa, or H-1B visa, and those that do have an even tougher time getting a green card, which will allow them to work and live in the U.S. permanently.

"Not surprisingly, many are getting frustrated and returning home. We must stop this brain drain and do all we can to bring more engineers and scientists here," Wadhwa will say.

ADVERTISEMENT
Meanwhile, Arora will also make the case for expanding the green card cap for skilled foreign workers. He will argue that the small supply of green cards has contributed, in part, to the concerns about the H-1B temporary worker visa program. 

"The law provides for ample enforcement in nonimmigrant programs — I urge you to use that power to restore faith in a highly skilled immigration system that can and will continue to benefit the U.S. economy and the American workforce," Arora will say. "Our excessive reliance on temporary visas from a lack of green cards is of course largely to blame for the enforcement issues within the programs."

In his prepared remarks, Arora also calls the per-country cap system "absurd" and not in touch with reality. He will thank Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for their push to eliminate the per-country system.

"Talent is talent no matter where an immigrant is from, and the limitations on access to employment-based green cards are best determined by the needs of the market, not an arbitrary cap," Arora will say, according to his prepared remarks. "On its face, the idea that a country with billions of people should be limited to the same number of employment-based green cards as a country with only millions is absurd."

Also testifying on the first witness panel will be San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Michael Teitelbaum, a senior adviser at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is crafting comprehensive immigration reform, which is being kept tightly under wraps, The Hill's Russell Berman reports. Members of the group include House Judiciary Committee members Reps. Luis Guitierrez (D-Ill.) and Lofgren. The group is aiming to release a bill after President Obama's State of the Union address.

Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) re-introduced three immigration-focused bills late Monday. One of them is a bill originally authored by Smith that proposes to reallocate 55,000 green cards to foreign-born graduates with advanced science, math, tech and engineering (STEM) degrees from U.S. universities by eliminating the diversity visa program. The bill passed the House in November, but faced pushback from Democrats who opposed cutting the diversity visa program.

The Senate is focused on passing a comprehensive immigration bill, so Issa's measure will likely go untouched in the upper chamber.

Cyberattack at DOE affects ‘several hundred’ employees, contractors: The Department of Energy said Monday that it was the victim of a cyberattack last month that “resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of employee and contractor Personally Identifiable Information," according to The Hill's E2-Wire.

DOE said no classified data was compromised. The department said it is working with federal law enforcement officials to assess the full impact of the attack, which it said could have affected “several hundred” employees and contractors.

Facebook said to plan location-tracking app: Facebook is working on a mobile app that will constantly track people's location, Bloomberg reported. The app, which is reportedly scheduled for release in the middle of next month, will help users find their nearby friends.

Facebook already records people's location when they check in to a venue or post status updates or photos from their phone. But the new app can track users even when it isn't open, according to Bloomberg. The news service wrote that Facebook might have already gotten users' permission for such persistent tracking.

Lawmakers applaud FTC mobile guidelines: Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, applauded the Federal Trade Commission on Monday for issuing privacy protection guidelines for the mobile marketplace.

In a released on Friday report, the commission recommended that companies provide easy-to-understand privacy policies, obtain a user's consent before accessing location information and allow users to opt out of tracking by third-party advertisers, among other recommendations.

“The FTC is correct to point out that more must be done to protect the privacy of mobile device users," the lawmakers said in a joint statement. "We believe consumers should have notice and give consent before their personal information is collected or shared. Protecting consumer privacy in the mobile environment is crucial, particularly when it comes to children and teens."

They said they will reintroduce their Do Not Track Kids Act, which would restrict online marketing to children


ON TAP:

Joint hearing on UN Internet regulation: A joint committee hearing in the House on Tuesday will examine the lasting effects of a United Nations telecommunications treaty on the Internet and the legislative steps Congress can take to protect the current model used to govern the network.

The treaty is the product of a conference hosted by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that wrapped up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December. The hearing will be held jointly by the House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Communications and Technology and the Foreign Affairs subcommittees on Terrorism and Human Rights.

House Oversight Committee to hold hearing on cutting government waste: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday that will examine how to reform government spending. One of the witnesses testifying will be Jonathan Kamensky, a senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

“The federal government can apply technology and best practices to potentially save as much as $1 trillion by reducing operating costs over the next decade,” Kamensky said in a statement. “During my testimony, I will share many of these strategies, including applying advanced analytics to reduce improper payments, consolidating IT infrastructure and streamlining supply chains.”

Google to co-host Safer Internet Day: Google is partnering up with consumer groups and representatives from industry and the public sector to discuss ways to inform consumers about how to stay safe and keep their information protected online. The event will be held Tuesday at the National Press Club, and speakers will include Family Online Safety Institute's Stephen Balkam, National Cyber Security Alliance's Michael Kaiser and Google's Pablo Chavez, among others.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

FCC's 'free' Wi-Fi proposal generates buzz: A front-page Washington Post story on Monday drew widespread attention to a Federal Communications Commission proposal to create super-powerful WiFi networks.

The Post explained that the government wants to create WiFi networks "so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month."

Privacy groups request meeting with US officials on backlash against EU privacy rules: More than a dozen privacy advocates on Monday requested a meeting with top-ranking U.S. administration officials to discuss supporting the European Union's effort to strengthen its online privacy laws, saying the initiative aligns with President Obama's views on the issue.

The privacy groups say the EU's proposed privacy rules touch on several of the principles included in the privacy framework rolled out by President Obama last year, which was backed by consumer groups.

However, EU officials are feeling pressure from the U.S. government and industry representatives to scale back their proposed regulations, the privacy advocates said in a letter to U.S. officials. 

Parents group urges FCC to crack down on CBS over Super Bowl profanity: The Parents Television Council urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to take action against CBS for airing a curse word during its coverage of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Immediately after the game ended, an exuberant Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens's quarterback, could be heard saying "f---ing awesome" to one of his teammates.

“Despite empty assurance after empty assurance from the broadcast networks that they would never air indecent material, especially during the Super Bowl, it has happened again,” Tim Winter, the Parents Television Council's president, said in a statement.


Please send tips and comments to Brendan Sasso, bsasso@thehill.com, and Jennifer Martinez, jmartinez@thehill.com.

Follow Hillicon Valley on Twitter: @HilliconValley, @BrendanSasso, @JenMartinez