Major Tech Figures Endorse Biden

A group of 35 “tech pioneers” have issued a public statement endorsing Biden, citing objections to Trump’s immigration policies. Of course, their focus is the H-1B work visa and related programs:

“The most brilliant people in the world want to come here and be grad students, but now they are being discouraged from coming here, and many are going elsewhere,” said one of the scientists who organized the endorsement, David Patterson, a Google distinguished engineer and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

The document is way off the mark for a few reasons:

  • According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Biden has indicated that he would retain Trump’s policies on H-1B if elected. No surprise, since both political parties have decried the program ever since its inception. In 2016, Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Cruz, Rubio and so on all made such statements.
  • Contrary to the group’s statement on the need to attract “the best and the brightest” from abroad, no one, including Trump, has ever advocated blocking the immigration of outstanding talents. Trump in particular has stated repeatedly that talented international students at US universities should be given the means to stay here. He tweeted in 2016, for instance,

When foreigners attend our great colleges & want to stay in the U.S., they should not be thrown out of our country…I want talented people to come into this country—to work hard and to become citizens. Silicon Valley needs engineers…”

His recent restrictions on H-1B have excluded foreign students.

  • Only a small fraction of STEM foreign students are of the quality the group cites.

The group’s statement is highly uninformed, if not deliberately biased.

15 thoughts on “Major Tech Figures Endorse Biden

  1. Years back when our politicians were going to increase the number of H1-B visas I wrote to my Congressman Richard Gephardt about the harm of the H1-B visa to the American worker. Gephardt always talked about his dad being a milkman and how the Congressman was for the working man. I thought he would be sympathetic, instead he replied back that business executives appeared in front of Congress to discuss the shortage of STEM workers. He said that he is concerned about the shortage of workers therefore he would vote for the increase of visas. Evidently he only supported the working man who belong to Unions.

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    • Unfortunately, both parties have fallen for the H1-B propaganda. Several months ago, I wrote my Oregon Democratic senator about an H-1B bill. He responded with a canned response stating “there is a shortage of IT workers”, “industry needs them” and “sorry you feel that way”. But there are also many GOP congressman and senators that toe the same line.

      The issue won’t be taken seriously until large numbers of out-of-work citizen IT workers demonstrate in front of state capitols.

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    • Speaking of only supporting Union labor, about 20 years ago there was a spinoff from Lucent (which itself was a spinoff from AT&T). When the spun-off workers got their first pay stubs, Union employees had retained their accumulated vacation and sick time. White-collar engineers were zeroed out. This is a decades-long attack on the middle class. We are just too much of a burden for those poor little CEOs to handle. (sarc)

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    • The Senate Judiciary committee knows this isn’t a matter of “shortage” nor “best and brightest”.
      Two of which are Durbin and Grassley. Why they’ve turned tail in the past few years is beyond me. I’d like to hear any information on exactly why that is.

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  2. As we all know, both parties are completely in the Big India/Big IT camp of more coding serfs. I tried on numerous occasions to interest the Dem candidate for Senate in SD in opposing work visas. The Dems are so completely unable to see the issue that he refused to listen to me. I sent him my 8 page summary of work visas. Not interested. Of course, he is completely unlikely to get anywhere near the Senate seat in SD. If he gets > 40% of the vote, I’ll be stunned.

    So, these serf-loving slavemasters are not going to support Trump, who has cut back on their ability to get cheap labor in a very modest manner.

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  3. Hopefully one day the media will grow up in its reporting of these issues. Tech luminaries are not experts on how people get jobs or what’s good for the economy. All of these people spent their careers in the bubble of big corporations and big universities. They have probably never faced competition for a job in their lives, and they spend their hours on issues completely unrelated to the topic of their claims.

    This is like reporting what bank CEOs think of taxes.

    Also, it’s interesting to compare the way the media treats this issue with the way it reports on threats to media jobs.

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  4. “Biden has indicated that he would retain Trump’s policies on H-1B if elected. ”

    Joke of the century. The Dems are all for open borders. They will end up creating something even worse than H-1B.

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  5. With Trump, we get IGIB. With Biden we will get IGIG. But what we need is IBIB. We need President Stephen Miller. He’s the only person in government who truly understands immigration.

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  6. I have followed immigration issues closely for nearly 15 years. The more I know, the more suspicious, concerned, and fearful I am. My experiences with immigrants from the last 40 years – family, acquaintances, and colleagues – have been generally negative. They are very different from my experiences with pre-WW2 immigrants and their descendants.

    What is even more concerning is that I have found many of the American born children of recent immigrants are often more loyal to the country of their parents’ birth than to the US. Both parents and children support policies beneficial to the country they left that are detrimental to other American citizens. The country is fracturing into intolerant communities based on ethnic and national heritage.

    There are very legitimate concerns regarding illegal immigration and the various forms of legal immigration that our elected leaders seem to be ignoring for their personal political and financial gain. This is particularly troubling is these tumultuous times.

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  7. And the cost to our communities are tremendous:

    In california, FY 2020 totals were: $9,712,879,215.20 of wages paid to H-1B, Not to citizens, and 80,459 Jobs given to H-1B, not to citizens.

    In texas we find: $4,921,909,504.00 of wages and 39,869 jobs

    All because of their greed, which destroys our ability to be all that we can be simply because we are not creating enough jobs here at home when we send jobs offshore and import non-immigrant guest workers to take the remaining jobs.

    Both of which are our best paying jobs.

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  8. “The most brilliant people in the world want to come here and be grad students,”

    Of course, an international student would have to be crazy to come to the US and get an undergraduate degree. It takes more time and money to get the BS degree especially with all the junk courses. The MS degree is quicker and the student can get a job as a TA or RA to help lower the cost. Plus the MS will leap-frog the BS at the same school.

    A while back I commented on how Cambridge and Oxford have 3 year programs. I wrote this after reading about it somewhere on the Internet. Today I went to the Oxford website and it is true! There are literally zero junk courses for the computer science degree.

    Below are the courses at Oxford.

    Functional Programming
    Design & Analysis of Algorithms
    Imperative Programming
    Digital Systems
    Linear Algebra
    Continuous Mathematics
    Discrete Mathematics
    Introduction to Logic and Proof
    Probability
    Models of Computation
    Concurrent Programming
    Compilers
    Algorithms

    Plus ten of the following

    Computational Complexity
    Computer-Aided Formal Verification
    Computer Architecture
    Computer Graphics
    Computer Networks
    Computer Security
    Concurrency
    Databases
    Geometric Modelling
    Intelligent Systems
    Knowledge Representation & Reasoning
    Lambda Calculus and Types
    Logic and Proof
    Machine Learning
    Principles of Programming Languages

    Plus a couple of projects with some involving team work.

    Don’t see junk courses!

    At the University of Houston I counted 14 junk courses! There are 2 english classes, 2 history classes, 2 politic classes, 1 class from each of the following groups, Language/Philosophy/Culture, Creative Arts,Social & Behavioral Science, and Writing in the Disciplines, and finally 4 natural science classes from outside the student’s major with 2 lab classes!

    All of this wasted time and money could have gone into the next startup or patent. Studying the wrong material is crazy as is apparent from employers willing to hire guests workers who did not take junk courses in college.

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  9. Constant tap dance between the two bogus arguments, “best and brightest”, “skills shortage”.
    Grad school, because it’s the shorted path to uncapped untaxed OPT work authorization, and universities are perfectly willing to pad out curricula to accommodate that path – hedge funds with a campus overlay, as one economist put it.

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  10. “Only a small fraction of STEM foreign students are of the quality the group cites.”

    Too generous.

    Virtually NONE of the STEM foreign students are of the quality the group cites. I can count on one hand the number of STEM foreign students to date who went on to eventually win a Nobel Prize (not the peace one, that one is meaningless) or a Fields Medal or a Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

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