Updating Tech Visas Is a Key Part of Broad Immigration Reform
July 12, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an interview with Ezra Klein, Hillary Clinton laid out ideas regarding immigration, among other issues.
The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum:
“While we agree with Secretary Clinton that undocumented immigrants who meet certain security and economic criteria should be able to earn eventual citizenship, we are concerned by her proposal to hold off on high-tech visa reform, a key part of broader immigration reform.
“There is no debating that many of our work visa programs are sorely in need of an overhaul so American workers are not pushed out of jobs. Furthermore, American workers must be able to access the opportunities and skills they need to reach their greatest potential.
“But to target the technology sector, or any particular sector of our economy, to ‘keep the pressure on’ misunderstands the necessary policy framework.
“Creating a path forward for the undocumented, updating our antiquated work visa programs and sustaining family immigration policies all must be part of the picture. It is time to replace our immigration system once and for all by establishing a set of laws that control our borders, encourage and regulate legal immigration, and address undocumented families in a humane way.
“To do that, we need to bring all the actors to the table and find a broad, long-term solution that best suits all our country’s needs and ensures all families in America thrive.
“America’s economy, competing on the global stage, needs the skilled engineer as much as it needs the skilled farmworker. Most of the time, those skilled workers are born in America. Sometimes, those skilled workers come from other countries. Closing America’s economy from the skilled workforce we need would be shortsighted.
“In this day and age, information, capital, jobs and people cross borders. We need an immigration system and elected leaders from both parties that serve America’s interests and operate in this reality.”