Local Leaders Discuss Immigration Reform, Effect on Economy and Role for Tech and Business Communities

Communications Manager

January 18, 2017

NEW YORK — At a post-election summit today, local business and government leaders and immigration experts discussed important opportunities for businesses to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to our communities and nation.

The discussion focused on the future of immigration reform after the recent presidential election, the potential impact on New York’s economy and workforce and the critical role of the tech and business communities in the debate. Panelists highlighted the importance of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the foreign-born workforce in both the tech industry and the New York economy through innovative worksite practices such as New American Workforce.

The following are quotes from speakers at today’s event:

Jorge Montalvo, Deputy Secretary of the State of New York for Economic Opportunity:
“We have the chance to stand up and say we are a land of immigrants and a State of opportunity. If we stick to our values and don’t let fear or hate cloud our judgement, we’ll stay true to who we are. We will remain welcoming to all.”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
“Without lasting immigration policy changes from Congress, we’re left wondering what the new administration will do. The result may be uncertainty that is detrimental to our businesses and economy. The approaches we need support a healthy economy that benefits American workers. That’s what we’re striving for with New American Workforce. With citizenship services and English classes at the worksite, not just immigrants but all American workers benefit.”

Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Tech:NYC:
“A plethora of tech companies have been started by immigrants. If we don’t continue to welcome them, they will create jobs and build economic opportunity somewhere else. We want to foster an environment that continues to welcome the best and the brightest.”

Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us:
“With a visa system fifty years old and a high-skilled system that has not been updated in nearly a quarter-century, our broken immigration system is long overdue for reform that will unleash entrepreneurship, create more American jobs, and grow our economy. We’re grateful to the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce for hosting this important forum, and we will continue to fight for an immigration system that works better for our economy and our communities.”

Jessica Walker, President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce:
“There is tremendous uncertainty about the President-elect’s agenda for immigration policy. Our hope is that this summit will clarify where we are and what we can do together to ensure New York’s workforce and economy remain strong.”

###