Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told CNBC’s “Street Signs” that expanding the H1B visa program is necessary to assure the nation’s competitiveness and future economic health.
The special visas, now capped at 65,000 a year, are used to bring highly skilled workers into the country, including engineers, programmers, architects, doctors and professors.
“As high-tech CEOs have said, we ought to staple a green card on every Ph.D. diploma in computer science and electrical engineering,” Flake said Thursday. “We ought to recognize that 25% of venture-backed high-tech companies were started by immigrants. If we don’t allow the highly skilled to stay here and work, then the jobs (they create) follow them back to China or India or wherever.”