ICYMI - The Washington Post: Republicans on Dreamer discharge petition facing more competitive midterm races

Posted by FWD.us Press on 05/22/2018

More than half of the Republican lawmakers who signed onto the congressional discharge petition to force a vote on Dreamer legislation hail from districts facing more competitive midterm elections than those that did not sign, according to new race ratings on the Cook Political Report.

The new data shows that a growing number of vulnerable Republicans are recognizing that support for DACA is key to victory in midterm races. An Axios poll from April 2018 found that “DACA is the biggest warning sign” for Republicans looking to hold their Senate seats in Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee, with 64% of registered voters across all states in support of protections for Dreamers.

Of the Republican lawmakers who support the discharge petition, three represent districts Trump won by double digits. The Washington Post also reports that:

“They represent districts that stretch from the heart of Miami to the sprawling suburbs of Denver to the rural Adirondack Mountains. Some, such as Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, are veteran combatants in the immigration debate. Others, such as Michigan’s Dave Trott and New Jersey’s Leonard Lance, represent suburban districts that are home to relatively few dreamers.”

For months, lawmakers in the House have pledged to take action to permanently shield Dreamers from deportation, but have failed to vote a single bill to protect them. The congressional discharge petition would free up Congress to debate a permanent fix for nearly 800,000 young people desperately awaiting a legislative solution.

ICYMI: 130 Bipartisan Legislators Urge DHS to Protect H-4 Work Authorization

Posted by FWD.us Press on 05/21/2018

Last week, Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Mia Love (R-UT) led 130 bipartisan Members of Congress in sending a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging the Administration to protect work authorization for almost 100,000 immigrants who are in the process of becoming legal permanent residents.

The bipartisan letter comes shortly after the Trump Administration announced intent to rescind work authorization for H-4 visa holders, most of whom are women with advanced educational degrees, and who are already contributing to our economy and workforce.

In the letter to DHS, lawmakers write:

“The opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work has made our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support to thousands of spouses—mostly women—who have resided in the United States for years. Many are on the path to permanent residency, and would already be permanent residents if not for the decades-long employment backlogs. Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of U.S. employers and the U.S. economy, as well as H-4 accompanying spouses and their families. We strongly urge you to reconsider this action.”

H-4 visa holders are the spouses of highly-skilled specialty workers. Many are stuck in a decades-long wait for permanent residency due to an annual per-country cap on green cards for individuals from places like India and China. Since earning the ability to work in 2014, H-4 visa holders have been able to participate in the workforce, better integrate into the community and make major life decisions to provide for their families while navigating the process to become legal permanent residents. Revoking work authorization for 100,000 people, 93% of whom are women, would be unnecessarily cruel and damaging, and would undermine the U.S.’ position as the top destination for the world’s greatest talent.

The bipartisan letter shows that there is broad bipartisan support in Congress for protecting work authorization for H-4 visa holders, and for immediately addressing other long-standing challenges of a broken immigration system, like the green card backlogs. FWD.us issued a statement in support of the rule in March and we join these Congressional leaders in calling on the Administration to protect the rule.

To read more about H-4 recipients and the importance of this rule, see these articles:

Seattle Times // Lynn Thompson // Identity crisis: Wives of immigrant tech workers struggle to find purpose
CNN Money // Parija Kavilanz // Doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs on H-4 visas fear losing their businesses and jobs
San Francisco Chronicle // Trisha Thadani // Work permits for H-1B spouses could disappear, leaving lives in flux
Chicago Tribune // Brian Murphy // Spouses of Indian and Chinese tech workers could be stripped of right to work in U.S.

Below please find a press release announcing the letter and names of signers:

Jayapal, Love Lead 130 in Bipartisan Support of Work Authorization of H-4 Dependent Spouses

May 16, 2018

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Mia Love (R-UT) led 130 bipartisan members of Congress in urging Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to maintain the current regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The Trump Administration is expected to rescind the rule granting these spouses work authorization in June.

“The opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work has made our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support to thousands of spouses—mostly women—who have resided in the United States for years,” wrote the members. “Many are on the path to permanent residency, and would already be permanent residents if not for the decades-long employment backlogs. Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of U.S. employers and the U.S. economy, as well as H-4 accompanying spouses and their families. We strongly urge you to reconsider this action.”

One hundred and thirty bipartisan members of Congress have signed on to the letter including Christopher H. Smith, John Lewis, Frank Pallone, Jr., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David Price, Rosa L. DeLauro, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jerrold Nadler, Jim Cooper, Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Anna G. Eshoo, Gene Green, Luis V. Gutiérrez, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Peter T. King, Lucille Roybal Allard, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Nydia M. Velázquez, Sheila Jackson Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Elijah E. Cummings, Diana DeGette, James P. McGovern, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Adam Smith, Gregory W. Meeks, Barbara Lee, Michael E. Capuano, Joe Crowley, John B. Larson, Grace F. Napolitano, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Thompson, Susan A. Davis, James R. Langevin, Rick Larsen, Betty McCollum, Raúl M. Grijalva, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Linda T. Sánchez, David Scott, G.K. Butterfield, Gwen S. Moore, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Doris Matsui, Albio Sires, Kathy Castor, Yvette D. Clarke, Steve Cohen, Joe Courtney, Keith Ellison, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Jerry McNerney, John Sarbanes, Timothy J. Walz, Peter Welch, John Yarmuth, Niki Tsongas, André Carson, Marcia L. Fudge, Richard M. Nolan, Mike Coffman, Gerald E. Connolly, Jim Himes, Jared Polis, Kurt Schrader, Paul Tonko, Mike Quigley, Judy Chu, Ted Deutch, Bill Foster, David N. Cicilline, William R. Keating, Steve Stivers, Frederica Wilson, Rob Woodall, Kevin Yoder, Suzanne Bonamici, Suzan DelBene, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Dina Titus, Colleen Hanabusa, Carol Shea-Porter, Joyce Beatty, Ami Bera, Joaquin Castro, Rodney Davis, John K. Delaney, Elizabeth H. Esty, Tulsi Gabbard, Denny Heck, Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Derek Kilmer, Ann McLane Kuster, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Grace Meng, Beto O’Rourke, Scott H. Peters, Mark Pocan, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Takano, Juan Vargas, Marc Veasey, Katherine Clark, Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Donald S. Beyer, Jr., Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo, Ruben Gallego, Brenda L. Lawrence, Ted W. Lieu, Seth Moulton, Kathleen M. Rice, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Don Bacon, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Anthony G. Brown, J. Luis Correa, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Al Lawson, A. Donald McEachin, Stephanie Murphy, Jimmy Panetta, Jamie Raskin, John H. Rutherford, Thomas R. Suozzi and Karen Handel.

ICYMI: New report shows anti-immigrant rhetoric, policies are hurting U.S. fashion industry

Posted by FWD.us Press on 05/15/2018

A new report released on Monday by FWD.us and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) found that the United States’ badly broken immigration system, coupled with an increase in restrictionist policies, are slowing innovation in the American fashion industry.

The report found that the industry, which generates more than $250 billion in annual revenue and creates millions of jobs for Americans, relies on the skills and talents of immigrants from around the world. In particular, regional fashion hubs in New York, Missouri, Tennessee, California and Florida have experienced significant growth in recent years due to the economic and creative contributions of immigrants.

Key findings from the report show:

  • The U.S. has a vibrant and robust fashion industry that employs nearly two million people across the country. The many contributions of immigrants have helped sustain and expand its growth.
  • Of the companies surveyed, 85 percent believe international talent is important to the success of their business and helps the U.S. economy maintain a competitive advantage.
  • More than six in 10 survey respondents indicated that uncertainty with the immigration system negatively impacted their ability to recruit foreign talent and international students.
  • Anti-immigrant rhetoric and restriction policies are deterring international students from pursuing degrees at American universities, causing a seven percent decline in international student enrollment in 2017, compared to the previous year.
  • Fully 89 percent of survey respondents agree that addition resources are needed to help educate employers are how to navigate the immigration system.
  • 277,000 employees in wholesale and retail trade could benefit from the Dream Act, legislation that would create an earned pathway to citizenship for young Americans brought to this country as children.

Many iconic American fashion brands are led by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Unfortunately, recent policy proposals to cut immigration could drastically impede the ability of designers and other talented individuals to come to the U.S. and develop businesses here, slow innovation, hindering the creation of American jobs and hurting the U.S. economy overall.

FWD.us, CFDA Release Updated Fashion Report; Call for Critical Immigration Policy Reforms to Create Jobs and Drive Innovation in the Industry

Posted by FWD.us Press on 05/14/2018

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are releasing an updated report about the impact of immigration policy on the United States’ fashion industry and its role in creating American jobs. The report found that the industry, which generates more than $250 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 2 million people, relies on the skills and talents of immigrants from around the world.

“The fashion industry creates American jobs and drives economic growth in cities across the country, and we are proud to partner with the CFDA to showcase the data and stories of how immigrants drive U.S. innovation in this global industry – and how improving our immigration system will create more jobs across the country,” said Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us.

The report details how the fashion industry greatly benefits from the invaluable innovations and contributions made by immigrants. The industry overwhelmingly supports reforming the U.S. immigration system to better allow aspiring Americans to contribute to the U.S. economy and to our communities.

“International talent has played a critical role in defining and sustaining the U.S.’ fashion industry, which is a significant economic engine for our country,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “We look forward to continuing to advocate for commonsense policies that will grow our industry and enable us to create an even greater number of American jobs.”

Acclaimed womenswear designer Naeem Khan added, “The glamour of the fashion industry will lose its shine without the skilled immigrants who are its backbone.” Khan emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1979, and launched his eponymous collection in 2003.

Many iconic American brands are led by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Unfortunately, recent policy proposals to cut immigration could drastically impede the ability of designers and other talented individuals to come to the U.S. and develop businesses here, hindering the creation of American jobs. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and restrictionist policies are already deterring foreign-born students from pursuing degrees at American universities, causing a seven percent decline in international student enrollment by seven percent in 2017. The impacts could be felt at some of the most prestigious fashion and design institutes in the world, many of which are located in the U.S.

The fashion industry’s role in American job creation is made possible by the considerable efforts of immigrants from across the globe, and the industry continues to advocate for the passage of commonsense reforms that will fix the U.S.’ broken and outdated system, grow our economy, and enable the creation of even more American jobs.