Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg argues for more 457-style visas

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has argued the US needs to liberalise its immigration laws, including increasing the US equivalent of Australia’s 457 visas and opening up universities to undocumented immigrants.

Zuckerberg made his comments in an article on the website of FWD.us, a nonpartisan group of entrepreneurs and businesspeople pushing for immigration liberalisation.

On its website, FWD.us describes itself as “an organization started by key leaders in the tech community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy—including comprehensive immigration reform and education reform”.

In the article, Zuckerberg criticises the US government for the small number of H1B skilled migration visas offered each year, a visa category roughly equivalent to Australia’s 457 visa.

“Why do we offer so few H1B visas for talented specialists that the supply runs out within days of becoming available each year, even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return?” Zuckerberg says.

“Why don’t we let entrepreneurs move here even when they have what it takes to start new companies that will create even more jobs?”

Another concern is the difficulties undocumented arrivals have in gaining further education in the US.

“One of my top aspiring entrepreneurs told me he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to go to college because he’s ‘undocumented’. His family is from Mexico and they moved here when he was a baby,” he says.

“These students are smart and hard-working, and they should be part of our future.”

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