Google Urges Immigration Policy Reform to Safeguard Access to Critical AI Talent

Google is sounding the alarm on the need for the U.S. Department of Labor to modernize immigration policies, warning of potential repercussions on the nation’s access to critical AI and tech talent. In a letter addressed to the Department of Labor, Google emphasizes the necessity for greater flexibility and agility in addressing the evolving demands of the workforce, particularly in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

A focal point of Google’s advocacy is the reform of Schedule A, a government-maintained list of occupations deemed to have insufficient American workers and thus “pre-certified” for expedited immigration processes. According to Google, Schedule A must be updated to reflect the contemporary landscape of technology and innovation, with specific attention to including AI and cybersecurity occupations. Karan Bhatia, head of government affairs and public policy at Google, underscores the urgency of this update, noting that the occupations listed in Schedule A have remained stagnant for two decades despite significant shifts in the labor market.

Under current procedures, companies seeking to secure permanent residency, often referred to as green cards, for their employees must navigate a complex and time-consuming process, including obtaining a permanent labor certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor. However, Schedule A offers a streamlined pathway for certain occupations, potentially reducing processing times by up to a year. Google asserts that while Schedule A has been a useful tool, its efficacy is diminished by its failure to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape. The company advocates for the inclusion of AI and cybersecurity roles on Schedule A, citing the critical shortage of talent in these areas and the pressing need for expedited immigration pathways to fill these roles.

Furthermore, Google argues for a more dynamic and transparent approach to updating Schedule A, calling for the incorporation of multiple data sources and mechanisms for soliciting public feedback. By leveraging these strategies, Google contends that Schedule A can better align with real-time workforce demands and foster a more efficient immigration process.

The challenges posed by the current immigration landscape are exacerbated by the intense competition for AI talent, both domestically and internationally. While the U.S. boasts a robust pool of AI talent, the restrictive nature of immigration policies has hindered the recruitment and retention of top talent. Bhatia highlights instances where Google employees have been compelled to seek opportunities abroad due to protracted green card processes, underscoring the detrimental impact on U.S. companies’ ability to innovate and compete in the global market.

In response to mounting talent shortages, exacerbated by aggressive recruitment tactics and soaring wages within the AI sector, President Joe Biden has issued an executive order aimed at bolstering the nation’s AI workforce. The order directs federal agencies to prioritize initiatives aimed at expanding AI talent pipelines and fostering collaboration between industry and academia.

As the competition for AI talent intensifies and technological advancements accelerate, Google’s advocacy underscores the imperative of modernizing immigration policies to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in innovation and technology.

Get Started with a

Schedule a consultation and review your immigration case with one of our experienced attorneys.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. Due to heavy demand, please note that, should you wish to proceed with an attorney consultation, these are by appointment only and cost $400.
Privacy Policy