Scrap US immigration ‘aging-out’ policy tech giants urge

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Tech industry giants such as Google, Amazon and Twitter are urging the Biden administration to scrap a US immigration ‘aging-out’ policy that forces the children of US visa holders out of the country once they pass the age of 21 if they don’t have their own US immigration status. 


More than 200,000 children of high-skilled immigrants are reportedly at risk of being booted out of the United States under the current US immigration system. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a coalition of tech  firms urged the government to allow the children of US visa holders to stay past the age of 21.

An excerpt from the letter says: “The idea that these children, having spent their entire lives in America, can’t continue staying on their dependent visas causes stress, anxiety, and depression in families.”


Parent decisions affected

Meanwhile, tech companies, which hire most of the USA’s H1B visa workers, have argued that policy makes parents reconsider their decision to come and live and work in the US.

The letter states: “This uncertainty harms families and prevents our companies from attracting and retaining critical talent in the US. The children have to either leave the country or attempt to re-enter the labyrinth like, high-stakes immigration system for a different US visa where options are extremely limited.”

The US tech sector relies heavily on immigrants and their US-born and bred children to fill high skilled job roles. As of March 2022, US tech firms had more than 11 million open jobs – five million more than the number of suitable candidates available.

Signatories of the letter said: “Many of these job vacancies are for highly-skilled positions, and US companies recruit foreign-born workers to fill in the worker shortages. These openings are especially critical given the pandemic as the US seeks to maintain its ‘world leader’ status in innovation and ingenuity.”


America’s Children Act

As part of the USA’s long-term solution for retaining foreign talent, tech firms are also encouraging the Biden administration to pass the bipartisan America’s Children Act bill.

The bill will reportedly offer a pathway to US citizenship for young, documented Dreamers by locking in their age to the date they file for a US green card. This will eliminate the concern of a green card being issued after a child has turned 21.

The coalition of tech companies, which also includes, Salesforce, Uber and more, wrote: “Policymakers have recognized the plight of the Dreamers – children brought to the US by their parents, who know no other country and were left without legal status – and have provided interim relief through the DACA program.”

“Now, we urge policymakers to also address the needs of the more than 200,000 children of high-skilled immigrants who risk falling through the cracks of the immigration system,” the group added.


Long-supported immigrants

The US tech industry has long-supported the immigrant cause, but is now highlighting the pressing needs of American employers at a time when the country is in the grip of widespread labor shortages.

Tech firms have argued that the current US immigration aging-out policy is seriously harming their ability to hire workers from outside the US.

The coalition of tech companies wrote: “Those who are forced to leave are a loss to America’s communities and workforce,” the companies wrote. Their skills and talent will go to our global competitors.” can help with US employment-based visas

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