Top tech executives urge Senate to pass Gang of Eight bill

“Senate approval of S. 744 is essential for our economy to continue to foster innovation and invigorate many U.S. business sectors through an educated and highly skilled workforce of domestic and foreign-born talent,” the executives wrote.

The letter was also signed by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, among others.

The letter comes as the Senate is voting on amendments to the sweeping bill this week in hopes of meeting a July deadline for passage. The tech industry is on guard against amendments that would strip away favorable language on H-1B visas that was secured through a compromise struck by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) last month. The compromise made the process for granting H-1B visas more palatable to tech companies by softening some of the worker protections in the original version of the bill.

Tech companies have been lobbying fiercely on the Hill to rally support for the Senate bill. Several of the tech executives who signed the letter to the Senate had also backed a March letter urging President Obama and Congress to pass immigration reform.

The sign-on letter was organized by trade groups that represent tech companies in Washington, including TechNet, the Information Technology Industry Council and Consumer Electronics Association.

Tags Chuck Schumer Orrin Hatch

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