Yes, Silicon Valley is more liberal than other nexi of Galtian activity, but I agree with this completely:
These same companies are always looking to cut down their domestic labor costs. Mark Zuckerberg, in particular, is pouring money into a new advocacy group, Fwd.us, with a board consisting of big-name Valley luminaries, to push “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: letting Facebook bring in a cheaper labor force). In a remarkably cynical move, Fwd.us has separate left- and right-leaning subgroups to prod politicians across the political spectrum to sign on to the bill that would pad the company’s bottom line.
Ostensibly, the increase in visas for high-skilled computer workers is a needed response to the critical shortage of such workers here—a notion that has been repeatedly dismissed, including in a recent report from the Obama-aligned Economic Policy Institute, which found that the country is producing 50 percent more IT professionals each year than are being employed in the field. The real appeal of the H1B visas for “guest workers”—who already take between a third and half of all new IT jobs in the States —is that they are usually paid less than their pricy American counterparts, and are less likely to jump ship since they need to remain employed to stay in the country. Facebook’s lobbyists, reports the Washington Post, have pressed lawmakers to remove a requirement from the bill that companies make a “good faith” effort to hire Americans first.
While I support immigration reform, and am sympathetic to the idea that it should be sensitive to the needs of employers, there’s a fine line between “guest worker” and “indentured servant”. And, yes, bringing in workers in any industry will depress wages for those already here working in that industry.
Tech tycoons can find a way to shit on IT workers the same way last century’s Galtians shat on miners and steel workers.