Some of you may recall my recent posting here titled “Joe Green of Fwd.us Has a Relapse of His Foot-in-Mouth Disease.” It seems that this view of Green was shared by someone else — FWD.us itself. This seems to be the import of this blog post at re/code, which reports that Green has resigned from FWD.us, with it being fairly clear that he had been forced out.
The latter organization was formed last year by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to promote immigration reform of all kinds, ranging from expanding tech employers’ ability to hire foreign workers to granting some form of legal status to unauthorized immigrants. Soon after the organization was established, Green made a famous gaffe, speaking too frankly about what the group could accomplish in DC with their huge money and power.
In my posting, I called Green out for in essence blurting out that tech employers were laying off U.S. citizen/permanent resident engineers and replacing them by H-1B visa workers. Though such an action is legal, admitting it would be highly damaging politically.
Of course, Green is hardly the only one with a speak-before-think problem. Back in 1999, for instance, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, one of the most strident supports of H-1B in Congress, introduced a bill to create a separate work visa for foreign students studying at U.S. universities. A key provision was a $60,000 salary floor, aimed at preventing employers from hiring foreign workers as cheap labor. In extolling the bill, Lofgren’s press secretary noted that “$60,000 is just peanuts in the [Silicon] Valley” — hardly the message Lofgren had hoped to convey.
Then there was a Microsoft executive’s blurting out that there just aren’t many jobs for older workers at the firm. Note that Zuck himself once made a remark like that. Many of the quotes I have in my collection on the Web consist of supporters of H-1B accidentally letting the cat out of the bag; it’s actually remarkable how often such slips occur, and I recommend the site to anyone who wants a quick education on the topic.
Too bad about ol’ Joe. We’ll see if his replacement is any savvier.