FWD. us — Alliance between IT Giants but Lack of Team Work on Technology
Evening of May 21, 2013 was the end of the Day Five of the markup on S.744 in the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee when the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was voted, successfully, by 13-5. The ten Democrats were joined by two Republicans, Senators Graham (SC) and Flake (AZ) along with a Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT), from the famous ‘Gang of Eight’ in the process of the successful approval.
Almost one month prior to this historic proceedings, Mark Zuckerberg, joined by Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft), Napster, Sean Parker, V.P. Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox and further backed by LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, had formed the advocacy group FWD.us to enhance the support for the proposed bill, Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
The proposed law, introduced at the floor of U.S. Senate on April 17 (legislative day, April 16), 2013, was actually sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer and co-sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Jeff Flake, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator John McCain, Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Marco Rubio.
Apparently, the appeal from the FWD.us was to facilitate legalization of immigrants under the H-1B visa emphasizing comprehensive immigration reforms. FWD.us, the advocacy group, hopes IT industry to be a major beneficiary of this proposed law, provided the proposed law is, finally, approved by the U.S. Senate. The major benefit sought for the IT industry is the cheap yet brilliant labor supply from immigration as the number of visas for H-1B visas are expected to be doubled, from 65,000 to 110,000 per annum.
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The most controversial provisions, allowing the married gay spouses to bring their partner along with them to U.S. like the straight couples, was opposed by President, fearing it to be the major cause of failure of entire proposed law.