Technology industry leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe flocked to Austin recently for the 2015 SXSW Interactive Festival. SXSW Interactive serves as an incubator of tech and digital creativity and innovation. Sharing new ideas is a cornerstone of the festival, but the idea that should demand the most attention is one that has been necessary in the tech sector for years: meaningful immigration reform.
Several SXSW breakout sessions highlighted the ongoing disconnect between the rapidly growing tech sector and the United States’ broken immigration system. Our outdated immigration system is not structured to adapt to the perpetually evolving world of technology. A complex application process and limited visa availability for high-skill workers make it virtually impossible for tech employers to fully staff specialized positions. The inability to fill these positions stifles growth and inhibits additional jobs from being created due to innovation in the field.