FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement today regarding this week’s congressional hearings:
“Seven different hearings this week will address – in part – the issue of immigration. Unfortunately, not a single one will focus on the economic impact of reforming our broken immigration system – and how immigration reform can add $1 trillion to GDP over the next decade and spur economic growth. Despite the fact that border apprehensions are down 94% from the beginning of the Bush Administration, these hearings will focus on plans to deport many more people and how to build and pay for a wall along the border. This enforcement-only strategy is not only terrible for our economy and families, but – as police chiefs around the country continue to say – hurts public safety.”
Instead, Congress should focus on the impact a smart immigration system could make: one that ensures the best and brightest can come to the United States to create jobs, raising wages for American workers and helping rebuild the middle class in today’s global economy. A smart, effective immigration system will provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and millions of undocumented families, driving hundreds of billions of dollars in GDP growth, which will continue to grow our economy and rebuild our communities.”
FWD.us: Latest House Judiciary Committee Interior Immigration Enforcement-Only Bills Would Hurt Public Safety for Everyone
WASHINGTON – Today, FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on the House Judiciary Committee markup of legislation that would lead to huge increases in deportations of undocumented immigrants without any serious criminal record:
“Congress’s repeated obsession with passing laws that would lead to huge increases in deportations of undocumented immigrants without any serious criminal record puts millions more families at risk and hurts public safety for everyone. Despite that an all-time high of 90% of all Americans support creating a pathway to citizenship, Congress will spend taxpayer dollars marking up a bill – again – that is harmful and takes the wrong approach. Instead, Congress should pass smart immigration reform that would strengthen border security, create a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants who can pass a background check, and modernize our broken legal visa system to fit the needs of today’s economy. Unlike these bills, that sensible approach would ignite economic growth and make our nation safer.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) introduced the “State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017,” which would allow states to create a state-based non-immigrant guest worker program. Following the release of the “State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017,” FWD.us Campaign Manager Rob Jesmer released the following statement:
“The Johnson-Buck bill is an innovative and thoughtful conservative approach to immigration to fit the needs of local economies. Giving state officials a greater say in how best to meet their local workforce needs through a flexible and fair guest worker program will help fill labor gaps in local economies and improve border security by providing additional avenues for businesses to legally hire temporary workers.”
“The ruling by the DC District Court dismissing the challenge to the STEM Optional Practical Training rule is welcome news for the hundreds of thousand of foreign students who rely on this critical, bipartisan program. Ensuring that foreign students can put their US education to use right here in America will help to create new American jobs, raise wages for native-born workers, and contribute enormously to growing our economy. We hope this issue is settled and we can have the certainty people deserve to create jobs in the United States.” – Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us
Optional Practical Training (OPT): after their studies, F-1 students can apply for OPT, which affords them temporary employment and additional training and skills development directly related to their area of study. Under the Obama Administration, DHS approved a 24-month OPT extension for eligible STEM students, which extends the total time for them to stay in the U.S. for up to 36 months post-graduation.
While the OPT STEM extension provides an important channel for students to remain in the U.S. and continue to put their talents to work here, the extension is far from safe under the Trump Administration – and there are multiple anti-reform members of Congress who want to roll it back.
We need to keep the OPT extensions
Each year, thousands of graduates who wish to stay in our country and contribute to our workforce are forced to leave, simply because their visas expire. These are talented individuals who could be growing our economy, but we kick them out to put them to work for our competitors instead.