Imagine you’re the CEO of a new technology startup. You have a great idea, funds in the bank, and your foot on the gas pedal. The thing that is most likely keeping you up at night is whether you’ll be able to hire technical talent quickly enough to stay ahead of your competition.

For an early-stage company, months lost searching for an engineer can be a fatal blow—and the ripple effects of this talent squeeze are felt across the technology industry and broader U.S. economy.

About 60,000 computer science majors will graduate every year in the U.S. (that number is growing roughly 10% per year) and have well over a million open software developer jobs to choose from. Despite the recent news of tech layoffs, the industry’s unemployment rate remains extremely low, hovering around 1.5% to 2%. The math becomes very simple: Our homegrown talent pool cannot keep up with the pace of growth in tech.

There is an obvious solution to this problem. Globally, there is no shortage of tech workers—and many of them want to come work in the U.S. In recent years, China and India have both surpassed the U.S. in number of developers, but Indian-born engineers have to wait up to seven years for a visa. American companies now submit hundreds of thousands of H1-B visa applications on behalf of employees every year, yet we haven’t increased the number of visas granted (85,000) in the last two decades.

Despite the clear need, our government is preventing untold numbers of talented individuals (many of whom attended American universities) from settling here and contributing to our economy.



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