Immigration

Tech Firms Hope Feds Will Ease Worker Visas

Much of Silicon Valley's talent comes from overseas

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Silicon Valley leaders are hoping that immigration reforms known as "Startup Act 2.0," which have been stalled in the U.S. Congress, will fare better under President Obama's second term.

"I think the main issue the tech industry should focus on is Startup Act 2.0," Andreessen Horowitz's Marc Andreessen told CNET yesterday. "That would be amazing not just for Silicon Valley but for American job creation—since the companies that are founded by skilled immigrants create so many jobs for Americans."

So far, at least, the left coast's enthusiasm for Startup Act 2.0 has been met with casual disinterest on the part of Washington officialdom. In both the Senate and the House of Representatives, versions of the Startup Act have languished in committees for half a year without a single hearing—while a fisherman-backed law limiting the commercial sale of longbill spearfish and similar gamefish rocketed through the Senate in a mere 11 days and was signed by Obama last month.