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Tech Industry Continues Call For Immigration Reform As Annual H-1B Visa Application Process Begins

Published Tuesday, April 1, 2014


WASHINGTON, DC - Leading DC-area tech associations are continuing to push for immigration reform today, as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) begins accepting applications for scarce H-1B visas for FY15. As a part of this outreach, the Technology CEO Council and seven tech trade associations today released an educational video explaining the negative impact of dysfunctional immigration laws on American jobs and the overall U.S. economy. The video, entitled “Brain Drain” is available at: http://youtu.be/NS4U_lFhBNA

Associations joining the Technology CEO Council in this effort include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the Internet Association, TechNet, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) and BSA | The Software Alliance. The groups plan to use the video in their lobbying efforts this week to help urge lawmakers to move forward quickly on immigration reform.

"You cannot claim to support American jobs and competitiveness if you oppose immigration reform," said Bruce Mehlman, Executive Director of the Technology CEO Council.  "We tell our Universities to educate the world's best and the brightest here and then tell our companies to hire them over there.  This is an unnecessary and self-generated problem with a clear and ready solution - pass immigration reform now."

"Research shows that for every immigrant with an advanced STEM degree from a U.S. university who opts to stay and work in the U.S., 2.62 additional jobs are created," said Robert Hoffman, Corporate Vice President, Government Affairs at Motorola Solutions, a Technology CEO Council member. "While Congress deliberates on immigration reform, our global competitors are literally walking the halls of our universities and innovation centers to recruit these job creators. They understand that a competitive immigration system can power economic growth."

For the fiscal year 2015, the USCIS will approve only 65,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers and an additional 20,000 for those with advanced degrees, far shy of demand. In fact, the organization expects to meet the cap within the next five business days. In 2014, the USCIS received 124,000 H-1B visa applications in less than one week.