by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs
SIA last week sent a letter to Senate leaders in support of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 (I-Squared Act), legislation introduced last week by a bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn).
“The I-Squared Act would strengthen the U.S. economy and promote innovation by making important improvements to the H1-B program and the green card program,” wrote SIA president and CEO Brian Toohey. “These necessary reforms will help spur innovation and create thousands of high paying manufacturing and research jobs here in America.”
Specifically, the I-Squared Act would increase the annual cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to up to 195,000 and remove limits on the number of high-skilled visas for workers with advanced degrees. The bill also would enable visa holders’ spouses to work, increase visa holders’ ability to switch jobs, and reclaim unused green cards from previous years, among other provisions.
With U.S. businesses’ increasingly urgent need for access to the world’s top talent, the time for action on immigration is now. According to a recent study, each highly educated immigrant who stays and works in the U.S. creates nearly three additional American jobs. Many of America’s most innovative companies – including several SIA members – were founded and led by immigrants.
SIA commends the bipartisan introduction of the I-Squared Act and looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders to ensure its swift enactment.
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