Still, Karan Bhatia, head of government affairs and public policy at Google, said he sees immigration changes as a natural and necessary next step to investing in domestic technological innovation. He added Google has become “more vocal and even more engaged” on immigration issues in recent years.
“If we are doubling down on the country’s financial commitment to this phase, it only makes sense to marry that with a competitive immigration system that allows us to match the human resources that are needed with the financial investment,” Bhatia said.
David Shahoulian, a former Homeland Security official during the Obama and Biden administrations who now serves as Intel Corp.’s director of workforce policy and government affairs, said the science and technology law shows that “policymakers on the Hill want to grow semiconductor R&D and manufacturing in the United States.”
Intel announced plans after the competition bill passed to expand its semiconductor manufacturing across the country. “As we grow the industry in the United States, our labor needs are going to grow,” Shahoulian said.
Stewart Verdery, founder of lobbying firm Monument Advocacy and a Homeland Security official during the Bush administration, said a push for visas for foreign-born engineers at semiconductor fabrication plants, often called fabs, may fare better politically than past efforts for visas in the software industry, which relies heavily on foreign workers.