Rand Paul Meets With Mark Zuckerberg at Exclusive Tech Conference

Image: Rand Paul Meets With Mark Zuckerberg at Exclusive Tech Conference Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 09:49 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Libertarian Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul huddled privately with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and libertarian investor Peter Thiel over the weekend at the annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, one of the "most exclusive gatherings of the American establishment," Politico reports.

According to Breitbart News, Paul, who is considered a likely GOP contender in the 2016 presidential race, has said previously that he did not vote for the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill because it did not include enough high-tech visas, an issue in which Zuckerberg has invested millions.

He and other tech leaders  — including the late Steve Jobs — have argued that there exists a shortage of American math and science grads to meet the demand for engineering jobs in Silicon Valley and that "the best and brightest foreign-born workers" are being educated here but forced to return to their home countries because of the immigration laws, Time magazine reported last year.

Time cited studies by consulting firm McKinsey, which found that 45 percent of U.S. employers surveyed reported a "skills shortage" as a leading reason for entry-level vacancies, and a 2011 Wall Street Journal article in which a top Silicon Valley venture capitalist wrote that "every company I work with is absolutely starved for talent."

But Breitbart reports that the purported shortage of American high-tech workers is a myth, referencing a Census report that 74 percent of people with bachelor’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) don’t work in those areas.

Additionally, according to Breitbart, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that increasing the number of high-tech visas would contribute to lowering American workers’ wages.

President Barack Obama has mentioned using executive orders to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to most of the country's illegal immigrants, according to Breitbart, but The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Obama does not have the authority to allow more visas for high-tech workers.

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