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Another Sign of Our Broken Immigration System

With only four working days since the H-1B application process opened on  April 1,  the number of applications for H-1B visas has already far exceeded the annual visas limitations. On Tuesday April 7, USCIS stated they are no longer accepting applications and  “Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date on which it will conduct the random selection process.” Which means they received so many that they are still counting them. The limit is  – again -  exceeded before one week had passed. (continue reading…)

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H-1B Filing Deadline is no Joke

Today is the day that – every year –  employers can begin to file applications for H-1B visas. Today is also the day that – every year – enough applications will be filed to exceed that cap; applications filed will likely more than double the 85,000 annual limit to H-1Bs issues each year, clearly proving this is an arbitrary number that is completely unresponsive to employer demand.

In a recent study by the Manufacturing Institute 66 percent of manufacturing executives said that when looking for engineers, researcher and scientists “finding candidates to enter the initial screening process” was by far the largest challenge they faced – more than “Offering compensation that appeals to qualified applicants” or “Making position requirements appeal to qualified talent.” Meaning that it is easier to create a positive work environment and provide a competitive salary, than it is to actually find someone to apply at all. (continue reading…)

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Lesser-Skilled Workers are an Essential Part of Immigration Reform

Improving border security is an essential part of immigration reform for the United States. Our current system incentivizes illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. while providing few opportunities for them to engage in the legal immigration system. As a matter of national security we need to know who is coming into our country and if they pose a threat. Creating a truly functional immigration program for lesser-skilled workers is the most effective way to achieve this important goal. We need to take away the incentive to come to and stay in the United States illegally and the best way to do that is to create a legal framework to manage it. By creating a legal system, we can be assured we know exactly who is here as well as allow temporary workers to return to their native country instead of being forced to live in the shadows for years on end. Under the current system, or lack of one, workers are incentivized to obtain false documents and unable to return home for fear that they will not be able to get back to in the US. (continue reading…)

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A Fight Worth Having

Unless or until it’s stopped, the National Labor Relations Board regulation that denies employees time to consider whether to join a union by putting union elections on an inappropriately fast track will go into effect on April 14th. This is troubling to manufacturers because there is scant evidence anywhere that the union election process needs to be sped up at all and the regulation would force employers to turn over closely guarded personal information such as an employee’s cell phone number and work schedule. (continue reading…)

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A Sustainable Fix

For those of us in the healthcare policy field in Washington it has become as ritualistic as the changing of the seasons, the anticipation of the Masters Tournament in April or opening day in Major League Baseball – it’s known as “The Doc Fix.” For over a decade now, Congress has gone through the process of staving off reductions in payments to physicians under the Medicare program. Unfortunately, each year it does so, it gets more expensive to fix it permanently. It’s officially known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and the only thing sustainable about the growth rate in this instance is the frustration level most Members of Congress feel about having to go through this rite of passage every year or two. So, it is with great expectation and hope among many in Washington that we find ourselves nearing an agreement on a permanent solution to the madness we put ourselves through with too much regularity. (continue reading…)

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NAM Applauds Administration’s Actions on H-4 Work Authorization

The NAM is pleased that the Administration finally moved forward with allowing spouses of certain H-1B visa-holders to have employment authorization. The wait for a green card can be more than a decade for some visa-holders, and during that time their spouses, who many times are highly-educated and skilled themselves, were not permitted to work. This creates frustration and instability for many manufacturing families. Today the Administration officially announced they are finalizing new regulations that allow certain spouses to have work authorization.  Under the new rule, only the spouses of individuals in the final stages of the H-1B process and waiting in-line to clear the excessive green-card backlog, will be permitted to work. (continue reading…)

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NAM Applauds Introduction of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015

Today Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) along with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) , Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Coons (R-DE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) re-introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015, also known as I-Squared. As it was last Congress, this bill is a strong push for high-skilled immigration reforms. (continue reading…)

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Board Ignores Input on Ambush Rule

Today, the National Labor Relations Board thumbed its nose at businesses and individuals who expressed serious concerns with their proposed rule to shorten the election period for union representation cases and short-circuited employer rights to ensure a fair election. (continue reading…)

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It’s Not a Tax on a Cadillac People

The Affordable Care Act has a provision in it that is commonly referred to as the “Cadillac Tax.” Well, it’s not a tax on the storied line of cars manufactured by GM, it’s a tax on employee benefits – a 40 percent tax on the benefits employees receive over a certain value – it should be called the Employee Benefits Tax (EBT). (continue reading…)

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Veterans Are Critical to Success of Manufacturing

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. A day we set aside to honor and celebrate the men and women who have given service to our nation in the Armed Forces. This one day is rightfully dedicated to them in gratitude, but manufacturers believe our nation’s veterans deserve our support the other 364 days of the year as well. The challenge for members of the armed services transitioning out of service and into the private sector is often translating how those skills are valuable to the private sector. (continue reading…)

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