The tech community will have its first chance Tuesday to weigh in, carefully, on major immigration legislation being debated in the Senate. The influential lobbying force that has for years scrambled for access to highly skilled foreign workers must now carry out a rough balancing act: making sure lawmakers know that the bill, as written, does not work for it, but that it doesn’t want to kill the process, either.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is the key to the tech community’s success in this debate. He has readied a handful of amendments to make the H-1B visa program easier for companies to navigate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to debate the title of the bill that addresses the high-skilled temporary visa program on Tuesday, but it is not clear that they will get to Hatch’s amendments. A safer bet is that amendments from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, which the tech community dislikes, will be brought up first.
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