FWD.US STATEMENT ON NEW LEGISLATION TO AMEND THE PER-COUNTRY CAP ON EMPLOYMENT-BASED AND FAMILY-SPONSORED VISAS
WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement today after Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) re-introduced H.R. 392, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act. The legislation would eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, and increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigration:
“We commend Congressman Jason Chaffetz for introducing a bill that would help the United States remain globally competitive by reducing decades-long wait times for skilled workers from certain countries stuck in the green card backlog. Under the current system, no more than 7 percent of employment-based green cards are conferred to highly-skilled workers from any one country. The proposed bill would make it possible for the United States to continue attracting the best and the brightest scientists, engineers, architects and researchers without discriminating against applicants because of where they were born. H.R. 392 is a sensible step toward building a targeted high-skilled immigration system that will help us win the global race for talent, create millions of American jobs and boost wages for the middle class in the 21st century economy.”
WASHINGTON – Following the introduction of the BRIDGE Act by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which provides a clean, legislative solution for 750,000 Dreamers who earned work permits and temporary relief from deportation, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement.
“We’re encouraged to see Congress moving closer to a solution that would avoid removing long overdue protections for young undocumented immigrants – often called Dreamers – who came to America as children. The bill provides a clean pathway for roughly 750,000 young people to keep living and working in the United States. If passed, we would keep teachers in schools, nurses in emergency rooms, and an important workforce contributing to our economy. Without Congressional action, it’s likely these young people, who have known no other home, would be deported to a country that is unfamiliar to them. This is the right thing to do economically and morally and we hope members in both parties will support this critical legislation.”
The program has unlocked countless economic opportunities for roughly 750,000 young people, 700,000 of whom are in the workforce and paying income taxes. In addition to getting a job, DACA allows young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, get health insurance, access basic health services, open bank accounts, pay taxes, enroll in college, take out mortgages and car loans, and provide for their families. Losing DACA would rip away these basic necessities from young immigrants who are integrated into American society, and would be a tremendous loss for these individuals, their families, and their communities. DACA has allowed Dreamers to work in every industry and at nearly every single major company in America.
Removing 700,000 people from the workforce in a single day would cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade. Other consequences include:
- Six percent of DACA recipients have also launched businesses that employ native-born American citizens. Without work authorization, those businesses would be forced to shutter, sending American workers to the unemployment rolls, and halting tax and economic contributions.
- Consumer purchasing power would shrink drastically. Almost 55 percent of DACA recipients have purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten — or 12 percent — have purchased their first home. 750,000 American residents would no longer be able to pay taxes or pay back loans for mortgages, cars, and higher education.
- DACA repeal would divert limited enforcement resources from high security threats. DACA recipients have undergone biometric and biographical criminal background checks. Not only would a repeal drive 750,000 immigrants who have passed thorough background checks and are registered with the government back into the shadows, but it would waste enforcement resources.
“We’re proud to have partnered with broad bipartisan coalitions to help pass major criminal justice ballot measures in California and Oklahoma.”
“These victories show that criminal justice reform isn’t a partisan issue; voters in both ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states are embracing more balanced public safety strategies.”
“California’s Prop 57 will make communities safer by supporting evidence-based rehabilitation programs, enabling the state parole board to determine which inmates can safely be released, and requiring a judge’s approval before kids can be prosecuted as adults.”
“Oklahoma State Questions 780 and 781 will reduce crime by supporting community-based rehabilitation programs, while locking up fewer Oklahomans for minor offenses like drug possession.”
“California and Oklahoma voters showed that bipartisan momentum for criminal justice reform is building around the country; federal and state lawmakers should heed this message in 2017.”