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Sundar Pichai

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company wants to be a constructive voice in the immigration debate.
  • The immigration issue hits very close to home for Silicon Valley tech companies, and Pichais’ comments signal that the industry is rethinking its tactics to fight for the cause.

Almost exactly one year ago, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stood in front of cheering employees vowing to “stand together” and “never compromise” in opposing the Trump administration’s travel ban.

On Friday, Pichai spoke out again in defense of immigration and of the benefits that immigrants bring to the US. But the India-born CEO, himself the perfect embodiment of the cause, seemed to have ditched his firebrand approach in favor of a a more diplomatic tone.

“It’s really important that we don’t make it a tech-versus-the-rest-of-the-country issue,” Pichai said on-stage, during a Q&A event in San Francisco organized by MSNBC, when asked about immigration by hosts Kara Swisher and Ari Melber.

Many of the big immigration issues remain unresolved, hot-button topics, including the travel ban, the fate of the so-called Dreamers, and the controversial visa system US corporations use to hire skilled foreign workers. Indeed, the deadlock over immigration policy in Congress helped trigger the federal government shutdown that began on Saturday.

There’s a lot at stake for Google, which recruits engineering talent from all over the world and which counts some Dreamers — immigrants who were brought into the US illegally by their parents but now have work visas — among its ranks.

Google ProtestStill, after a year of the Trump presidency, Pichai appears to have adapted to the political climate his company now operates in. Instead of “never compromise,” Pichai stressed the need for Google to play a “constructive” role in the immigration debate.

“We are very open Read More Here