Silicon Valley gears up to challenge Trump

Global Business

Silicon Valley gears up to challenge Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive actions continue to fuel controversy. Especially in San Francisco which has become the first U.S. city to file a lawsuit challenging a Trump directive to withhold money from cities with sanctuary policies toward undocumented immigrants.

The tech community has also been vocal about the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and is now anticipating a move on high-skilled work visas next.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports from Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley gears up to challenge Trump

Silicon Valley gears up to challenge Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump's executive actions continue to fuel controversy. Especially in San Francisco which has become the first U.S. city to file a lawsuit challenging a Trump directive to withhold money from cities with sanctuary policies toward undocumented immigrants. The tech community has also been vocal about the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and is now anticipating a move on high-skilled work visas next. CGTN's Mark Niu reports from Silicon Valley.
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Protests in the San Francisco Bay area inevitably involve tech companies. Google recently held a protest on its own campus.

Ride-hailing company Lyft announced it would donate a million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union to defend the constitution.

Airbnb is offering free housing to anyone stranded by the immigration ban. But now, tech companies are eyeing an even bigger decision – a widely expected Trump executive action on high-skilled immigrant visas.

In the city of Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the early stage venture fund Unshackled is watching the situation closely. The fund has raised four and a half million dollars to hire immigrant founders to pursue their dreams by building their own startup.

Unshackled has invested in 33 founders from 15 countries, including two from Iran who they’ve advised not to travel outside the United States at the moment.

“My biggest worry is if the instability and uncertainty that exist today, if it starts deterring the true highly skilled people to come to the U.S. to our schools, to work at our companies. What happens then,” Nitin Pachisia, founding partner of Unshackled said.

But Pachisia – an H-1B visa holder himself – said whether President Trump lowers the numbers of high-skilled worker visas – it’s more important he addresses a startling fact: 13 of the top 15 H-1B visa filers are global outsourcing companies who pay lower than market-rate wages.

Unshackled is pushing for an actual startup visa, saying that an immigrant founder creates around 23 jobs per startup.

Unshackled also points out that more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded either by immigrants or children of immigrants.


Josh Constine talks about Facebook, the tech industry and the travel ban

For more on Facebook’s earnings and the relationship between Silicon Valley and the Trump administration, CGTN spoke to Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large with TechCrunch.


Manan Mehta from Unshackled talks about how to improve the high-skilled worker with US visa system