Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Our experience with American immigration policy dates back to one of our founders: when he was six, Sergey Brin's parents fled the Soviet Union in 1979 and settled in the United States. Today, there are literally hundreds of examples of immigrants and non-immigrant foreign workers playing a vital role in our company.
In particular, employees who are holders of H-1B visas -- which allow foreign-born workers with specialized skills to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis -- have helped lead the development of Google News and orkut. Immigrants from countries like Canada, Iran, and Switzerland now lead our business operations, global marketing, global business development, and data infrastructure operations. Without these talented employees and many others, Google would not be where it is today.
As Congress grapples with various immigration reform proposals, Laszlo Bock, our Vice President of People Operations, testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration about the practical impact that the U.S. immigration system has on Google. (Laszlo's mother Susan, who fled Communist Romania when Laszlo was a child, was there too. She was welcomed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the committee, and she received an ovation from everyone present at the hearing.)
In his testimony, Laszlo said that, due to limits on the number of H-1B visas, Google is regularly unable to pursue highly qualified candidates. This year, an estimated 133,000 visa applications were filed by H-1B candidates in the first two days of the filing period for only 65,000 available spots. Over the last year alone, the artificially low cap on H-1B visas has prevented more than 70 Google candidates from receiving H-1B visas. Therefore, Laszlo said, "We would encourage Congress to significantly increase the annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, to a figure more reflective of the growth rate of our technology-driven economy." He also urged Congress to address the backlog of employment-based green cards for highly skilled workers.
Check out the full text of Laszlo's testimony or watch the video of his opening remarks to the committee below.