Last week we welcomed another one of Silicon Valley’s representatives to the Googleplex, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), for a fireside chat with our CEO Eric Schmidt. Covering the 16th district just south of our Mountain View headquarters (Rep. Lofgren thanked Eric for keeping so many of her constituents employed), she has been a longstanding champion of many of the tech policy issues Google cares about.
Eric and Rep. Lofgren discussed a range of hot topics facing Congress right now. Especially noteworthy were her comments -- and continuing efforts -- around reforming immigration policy for highly skilled labor, a troubling roadblock for Google's and other tech companies' efforts to hire the best and brightest regardless of where they're from. As one of our favorite immigration lawyer-turned-Congresswoman pointed out, when we’ve invested in graduate-level educations for foreign nationals who want to stay here and contribute to our economy, what sense does it make to send them immediately home?
Lofgren has been a steadfast a critic of the president's warrantless wiretapping program, and much of the lively conversation focused on whether Congress should give retroactive immunity to telcos who broke the law by participating in the program. Lofgren engaged with the perspectives of Googlers in the audience, including one from our Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, who formerly worked at carrier MCI.
For more on the immigration issue and other insights from Rep. Lofgren, check out the full conversation: