The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
The Cybersecurity Coalition strongly urges you to reconsider the implementation of the administration’s Proclamation 10014 due to its counterproductive impact on American cybersecurity.
The US-cybersecurity industry is the largest, most innovative, and most trusted globally. Public and private sector entities within the US and her allies, including critical infrastructure, rely on the products and services provided by these US companies to prevent cybercrime and state sponsored cyberattacks and espionage.
One of the keys to the United States’ success in this highly competitive and specialized industry comes from a culture of recruiting the best and brightest individuals, regardless of nationality. This culture is reinforced by the fact that Information technology specialists, computer scientists, and other technical experts are in short supply and high demand globally. This is not an industry where qualified Americans are unable to find employment due to the existence of foreign cybersecurity professionals. Only last year, the United States Department of Homeland Security estimated this country’s shortage of cybersecurity practitioners was 300,000, while various private sector organizations have estimated the shortage closer to 500,000. Without significant changes, it is likely that this shortage of cybersecurity practitioners will continue to increase over the near term.
Your recent Proclamation 10014, the Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak, will surely exacerbate the serious workforce issues that plague our industry. The inability to integrate talented cybersecurity professionals from outside of the United States through the issuance of H1B and L-1 visas, and any new interruptions to the work authorization of those with STEM degrees from U.S. universities, will stymie US-based cybersecurity growth and harm the development of much needed cybersecurity products and services.
Furthermore, the United States’ loss may be our adversaries gain. It is no secret that nations with competing policy interests are heavily investing in cyber capabilities – including malicious cyber capabilities -- as well as in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. If cyber professionals cannot come here, they will go elsewhere.
In a time of increasing cybersecurity threats globally, the security of America’s critical infrastructure and the growth of American industry depend upon the strength of our cybersecurity industry. And that strength depends upon our ability to attract and retain the best talent globally.
Restricting visas for individuals who help secure American infrastructure will impact America’s cybersecurity industry and will harm American national security. Accordingly, the Cybersecurity Coalition strongly urges the immediate end to Proclamation 10014.
/s/ Ari Schwartz
Cybersecurity Coalition Coordinator