Microsoft CEO, tech groups praise Senate passage of immigration bill

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The Senate’s passage of its immigration reform bill Thursday received the praises of DC tech groups connected to Facebook and Google, along with Microsoft.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act passed through the Senate with a 68-32 vote. Silicon Valley companies has been supporting immigration reform as a way to bring new foreign workers into the country.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called the passage of the bill a “a significant step toward reforming our nation’s outdated immigration policies”  in a statement.

“If enacted, these changes will strengthen our economic security, foster innovation and enable continued job growth in the U.S.,” said Balmer. “Equally important, the legislation makes critical investments in our workforce by strengthening STEM education in the lUnited States, including instruction focused on computer science.”

FWD.us, supported by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has also been an ardent supporter of immigration reform.

Joe Green, FWD.us’ founder and president, praised the bill as “a monumental step forward for comprehensive immigration reform that will do right by the American economy and American families.”

Shawn Osborne, president and CEO of the tech trade association TechAmerica hailed the passage of the bill as “a historic day for the modernization of the U.S. immigration system.”

TechAmerica is connected to a “broad range of companies,” the Washington Post reported in June 2012, like Facebook, Google, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

“The important improvements to high-skilled immigration, is critical to the growth of the U.S. technology industry and our ability to out innovate our foreign competitors,” said Osborne.

CCIA President and CEO Ed Black, praising the Gang of 8, called the Senate’s actions a “major milestone as it shows that the gridlock that has long held our nation hostage to a broken immigration system can be resolved through leadership and collaboration.”

All three organizations were optimistic about collaborating with the House in the coming weeks on the next stage of the bill’s development.

The jobs affected by the bill can be found at myvisajobs.com.

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