Google Testifies to Congress on Immigration

Dennis Faas's picture

Google vice president Laszlo Bock testified before Congress on Wednesday, urging the legislative body to allow for more foreign hiring.

Bock, vice president of people operations at Google, said that the company may not exist if co-founder Sergey Brin and his parents had not been able to flee from the Soviet Union to the US decades ago. Bock's testimony was part of a hearing focused on business community perspectives of immigration law alterations.

"Within Google, there are countless examples of immigrants and non-immigrant foreign workers playing a vital role in our company," Bock said. "It is no stretch to say that without these employees, we might not be able to develop future revolutionary products like the next Gmail or the next Google Earth." He added that the positive effect of foreign workers has not only reached Google but also Intel, eBay, Yahoo and other Silicon Valley companies. (Source:

However, Bock warns that US laws do not allow companies to hire enough foreign workers. Despite the fact that Google is adding 500 employees each month, Bock says that the company is still in a "fierce worldwide competition" with Indian and Chinese companies to attract the top engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

To resolve the issue, Bock suggests raising the annual cap of H-1B visas, which allow companies to hire foreign professionals for a period up to six years. Currently, the cap is set at 65,000, a number that has remained relatively unchanged since 1990.

"Simply put, if U.S. employers are unable to hire those who are graduating from our universities, foreign competitors will," assured Bock at the hearing. (Source:

Currently, 8 per cent of Google's 8000-person US workforce hold an H-1B visa.

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