Joe Biden’s US immigration plans have received backing from Google, which has pledged $250,000 to help undocumented ‘Dreamers’ settle in the United States. The multinational tech giant will donate the money to United We Dream, an organization that assists immigrants living illegally in the US with finding work and avoiding deportation.
In 2020 Google, along with other big name businesses such as Apple and Amazon, slammed outgoing President Donald Trump for banning US work visas – describing the move as ‘unbelievably bad policy’. The suspension was recently extended by the Trump administration up to March 31.
However, in 2019, Google itself came under fire from its employees for providing IT services to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other US immigration agencies. At the time, more than 600 Google staff signed a petition urging bosses to cancel contracts with US visa and immigration agencies.
Reliance on US visas
Along with many US-based multinational businesses, Google relies heavily on US visas – particularly the H1B visa – for hiring talent from around the world. In 2019 alone, Google and Amazon were granted approximately 9,000 H1B visas between them. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, is a H1B visa beneficiary having arrived in the US from India.
Recent comments made by Biden indicated that the President-elect would bring new US immigration legislation to Congress ‘immediately’ once he takes office on January 20. However, he did warn that implementing new US immigration laws ‘could take time.’
During his election campaign trail, Biden suggested that the estimated 800,000 children brought to the US illegally, known as ‘Dreamers’ and who are currently protected by the Obama-era DACA program, should be granted US citizenship.
Google senior vice president, Kent Walker, said in a blog published recently that it was ‘important for Dreamers to be given the opportunity to apply for protection.’
“We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices,” Kent said.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has repeatedly sought to end DACA, and the program is currently the subject of another Court ruling that could see renewals and fresh applications paused.
Kent said: “We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms.”
Also commenting on Biden’s US immigration plans, Amazon.com Inc’s vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, said: “Amazon looks forward to working with Biden’s team to advance common sense solutions on US immigration.”
Uber Technologies Inc said: “We welcome the new Administration’s effort to reform our nation’s immigration system.”
Salesforce.com said that it would ‘continue to advocate on behalf of Dreamers.’
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