Canada tech workers ask government to welcome IT workers caught in US imbroglio
Technology workers in Canada have asked Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, to provide shelter to IT workers caught unawares by the diktat of Donald Trump, the US President, which bars nationals of seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations from entering their country, stating that adopting diversity would power innovation and their economy.
Many Canadian tech honchos were signatories to a letter asking their government to offer instant entry visas to the beleaguered lot in America. Bloomberg quotes the letter, which was signed by CEOs of Shopify and Hootsuite Media, as saying that by opting to recruit, train and counsel the best global talent, they could host international companies that can propel the economy of Canada.
Earlier, in 2016, Trudeau government had introduced a fast-track visa program to allow tech companies to bring in global talent into this North American country in just two weeks instead of in months owing to bureaucratic hassles.
Meanwhile, John Chen, BlackBerry’s CEO, terming Trump’s order as extreme asked the Great White North to move on with its more accommodating policy of offering visas to skilled workers. According to Chen, it would give Canada an edge for attracting talent, adding that over 50 percent of its executive team and many others in its workforce were immigrants.
As large IT companies such as Microsoft, Google’s Alphabet, and Amazon already have significant operations in Canada, immigration would play a crucial role in bolstering their presence in this country. Besides, all these companies have imported workers from Eastern Europe or South Asia to Canada in a bid to get them closer to their head offices and wait for some time before strict US visa requirements could be cleared.
On the other hand, their US counterparts also have come down heavily on this ruling and stated that immigrant tech employees were crucial for powering their businesses and saying that the immigrant engineers were essential to driving their businesses and industrialism. It is said that more than half of US companies which are worth over $1 billion had a cofounder who was an immigrant, revealed a report by the National Foundation for American Policy.
Moreover, Trump’s cohorts have come out with a roadmap to give the visa programs a makeover for tech companies that recruit migrant workers. As per their plan, companies must hereafter recruit Americans first and if an immigrant is hired, companies would try to recruit Americans first, and if they recruit foreign workers, precedence should be given to the ones who get higher salaries. This, it is averred, may drive more firms to relocate their employees to Canada. Known as H1B visa scheme, this program welcomes 85,000 skilled workers into America every year.
Meanwhile, Trudeau himself took a proactive step by reacting to Trump’s clampdown on immigration, saying through a tweet on 27 January that Canada would welcome all those who are seeking refuge elsewhere to escape from terror, persecution, and war whatever be their faith.