Tech Firms Fear Loss of Skilled Workers

Companies that produce everything from salad to silicon chips say they're disappointed by the Senate's failure to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Business interests had been among the biggest backers of the immigration bill.

The measure would have increased the number of temporary visas available to high-tech workers, and made it easier for skilled employees to get green cards.

David LeDuc, of the Software and Information Industry Association, says that without the change, America's high tech companies are at a global disadvantage.

"There's literally a competition around the world for the best and brightest workers. If we can't get those workers to come here to the United States and work for U.S. companies, we're losing the best and brightest to other countries, to our competitors."

Critics counter that there would be adequate workers in the United States already — if employers paid higher wages.

Employers still have their fingers crossed that some portions of the immigration bill might be resurrected, including the AGJOBS program, which would open the door to hundreds of thousands of temporary farm workers.

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