Mark Weiner of Syracuse.Com (The Post-Standard) report on the immigration bill supported by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer highlights the effect its passage would have on New York farms and the high-tech industry. Weiner quoted Schumer: “Agriculture is one of our biggest industries in New York state, and it has been in handcuffs. And the handcuffs have been a lack of labor.”
Click here to read more.
An immigration reform bill was introduced yesterday in Washington, DC. The long-awaited landmark legislation would remove the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants and give them an opportunity to eventually become U.S. citizens.
Read more on the initiative from Reuters.
Read more about the bill on Senator Marco Rubio’s website.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerman, recently sent President Obama and legislative leaders a letter urging them to help reform the current immigration system which he called “outdated and inefficient.” He cited an issue that The Business Council has addressed here in New York, finding qualified, highly-skilled professionals to fill open jobs. Zuckerman is referencing the 85,000 H-1B visas that make up the U.S. government limit for this year. More than a hundred corporate heads and associations, including several members of The Business Council, signed on to the letter.
Here’s a snippet of that letter:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs requiring highly skilled individuals. Five high-tech companies alone – IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm – have combined 10,000 openings in the United States. Each one of these jobs has thepotential to create many others, directly and indirectly. Bipartisan legislation currently introduced in theSenate, such as The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, and bi-partisan legislation focused onaddressing the needs of entrepreneurs and start ups such as the Startup Visa Act and Startup Act 3.0, willencourage innovation here in the U.S. by allowing American companies and entrepreneurs to have accessto the talented workers they need while simultaneously investing in STEM education here in the U.S. We know what it will take to keep America in a position of global leadership. We know that when America is leading, our economic growth follows to the benefit of our nation’s workforce.
We call on you to address the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign,and to enact immigration reform this year. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues in a bipartisan way as we move forward in our common interest.
Click here to see the full text.
Click here to learn more about the Made in New York movement.
The Associated Press is reporting that the former heads of AOL and Mozilla are organizing a “virtual march for immigration reform.” Supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that “virtual march” is “being organized to pressure lawmakers to change laws to make it easier for the U.S. to attract tech talent.”
Click here to read the AP story as printed in Crain’s New York Business.
Kent Hoover wrote the following story about an agreement reached by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO on how to create a visa program for low-skilled workers. Here’s Hoover’s story:
Officials with the business lobby and the labor union have been talking for weeks on how to create a work visa program that would meet the demands of employers without hurting the wages or job opportunities for U.S. workers.
Their agreement on this issue makes it more likely that a guest worker program — something President Barack Obama has not included in his immigration plan — will be included in immigration reform legislation. Plus, the support of these two powerful organizations — which fight each other on most issues — could lead more members of Congress to vote for the bill.
Click here to see the following principles the chamber and the AFL-CIO said should be followed.