Obama was caught off-the-record revealing why courting Latino voters is a political priority and indicates why democrats have prioritized comprehensive immigration reform, often at the expense of high-skilled immigrants. “Since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community,” he told the Iowa Des Moines register, while
begging seeking their coveted endorsement in the swing state (the transcript was later publicized). Democratic favor for comprehensive immigration reform is well known, but the President’s candid remarks reveal a brazen politicized motivation.
The engineering-starved technology industry has made incremental high-skilled immigration reform a top priority. Companies are so desperate for engineers, Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo once admitted, that top prospective employees often have the tech industry’s celebrity founders personally enticing them to join. Unable to satisfy demand from America’s graduates, they’ve aggressively lobbied to increase the number of work visas for top talent from other countries and foreign-born students graduating with STEM degrees.
The latest attempt at increasing high-skilled visas, The STEM Jobs Act, failed, in large part, because it did not satisfy Democrat’s demands support underprivileged immigrants. “Republicans are only willing to increase legal immigration for immigrants they want by eliminating legal immigration for immigrants they don’t want,” said Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez.
In a similar fight a year ago, when Democratic members were asked why incremental high-skilled immigration reform wasn’t supported, Democratic Senators Blumenthal, Franken, and Schumer argued that there were too many other ‘stakeholders’ that wanted to be included in any immigration reform, as reported by The Iowa Independent.
As the immigration reform fight continues, advocates within the technology industry will have to take political realities into account.