Ballmer, Gates Help Push for Immigration Reform

Dennis Faas's picture

Some of the tech world's biggest players are joining forces to press for immigration reform. Led by Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, the group has now enlisted Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Zuckerberg's political action group is known as, and is devoted to changing how the United States approaches immigration policy.

Tech Firms Look to the World for Help

Specifically, the group hopes to adjust immigration policy to allow foreign engineers and scientists easier access to the United States. Many tech companies have been complaining for years that they simply can't find enough skilled workers in America.

In essence, tech leaders like Zuckerberg and Gates believe the only way for U.S. companies to continue innovating is to reach out to people from other countries for help. (Source: is hoping that Congress will pass recently-introduced bills that would expand the H-1B visa program, which is designed to help U.S. employers temporarily employ foreign workers.

Aside from Zuckerberg, Gates, and Ballmer, the group is led by President Joe Green, Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate. The 29-year-old Green, who previously worked for the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign, believes Silicon Valley executives can have a huge impact on American attitudes towards immigration.

"I believe this transition from the industrial to the knowledge economy is the single biggest challenge our nation faces, and I am so proud to see the tech community taking the lead," Green said in a recent interview. (Source:

Yahoo, Google CEOs On Board

Also joining LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman; Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt; Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer; and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.

Green says he's confident that, with the support of major tech leaders like Hoffman and Schmidt, the necessary changes will be made.

"We've been excited by the momentum we continue to see as more members of the tech community contribute to the national debate to improve our economic future, and support the bipartisan policies that will boost economic growth and continue to grow the knowledge economy," Green said. (Source:

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