Spotlight on Immigration Reform Week of May 20; Easy Actions to Take
May 22, 2013 | Tags: H-1B
We are pleased to report that the Gang of 8's Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, laden with some amendments including H-1B compromises by Senator Hatch, made it through mark up yesterday, with anticipated hearings by the Full Senate around June 10. One of Hatch's key compromises removes more onerous provisions for employers who hire less than 15% foreign nationals so that they need not first offer tech jobs to Americans. While considered a victory by the tech industry, there is still a long road ahead in many areas. As a side note, Senator Leahy's amendment yesterday providing protections for same sex marriages failed.
We ask that readers consider taking some actions this week:
- The Silicon Valley Leadership coalition and others in the tech sector are participating in a virtual march today and tomorrow. During this "March for Innovation," leaders from politics, media, business, entertainment, and sports will lead a two day digital march across Google Hangouts, Twitter Town Halls, Reddit AMAs, Livestreams, HuffPost Live, Mashable, and more social and online platforms to help galvanize Americans to call on their Senators to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Add your voice to the virtual March. Join mayors and industry leaders by signing up on www.MarchForInnovation.com.
- In an effort to create a dust up, Senator Grassley introduced several adverse amendments that will hinder progress.Contact Congress - Use these links to find contact information for your Representative and Senators. Oppose Senator Grassley's amendments (Grassley 10, 12, 21, 22, and Cornyn 4, 5.) Tell them what you like, and don't like, about the current bill and what your needs are: whether more H-1B visas, faster paths for STEM degree holders and foreign national researchers, or more reliable e-verify. Our earlier outline highlighting key provisions in the bill may be helpful.
As we have been reporting, this year's proposed CIR is the largest potential overhaul to the US immigration laws in over two decades. We need immigrant entrepreneurs, highly skilled workers, and innovators to feel welcome in this country so that they may continue to make vital contributions to our economy. We should all hold legislators accountable to make sure that they pass legislation that makes sense to employers and foreign nationals alike.
We are optimistic that we can all work together to keep Congress on track this spring and summer.