Category

Immigration

NAM Leads Industry Effort Calling on Congress to Fix Immigration System and Protect DACA Recipients

By | General, Immigration, immigration reform, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The administration announced in early September that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be rescinded and called on Congress to act in order to address the issue. The NAM agreed then that Congress needed to fix our broken immigration system and must work to find a solution for the more than 750,000 immigrants protected under DACA.

Today, the NAM continued our leadership efforts by spearheading a joint-letter to Capitol Hill urging Congress to assure DACA recipients that their future is safe in this country. The signatories of the letter included more than 30 organizations from a diverse cross-section of the manufacturing industry from around the country.

Since the announcement in September DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, have been living with a magnitude of uncertainty. These individuals were brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own and some currently are contributing to the success of the manufacturing sector. In many cases, they know no other country other than this one.

The last major immigration reform effort to come out of Washington happened in 1986. Despite the many calls for action since then to update our system, lawmakers have not delivered. NAM CEO Jay Timmons has called on Congress to “step up” and provide a solution for these DREAMers and it is clear from the joint-letter sent today the rest of the business community agrees.

Manufacturers have reason to be optimistic Congress will deliver to DACA recipients with many solutions already being discussed on Capitol Hill. The NAM will continue to work with lawmakers to find a solution that fixes the immigration system for these young people, manufacturers, and our economy.

The letter to Congress is below and can be found here:

November 13, 2017

U.S. Senate                                                                                          U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510                                                                      Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators and Representatives:

The immigration system is broken. For too long the business community has called on Congress and various administrations to lead an overhaul of the immigration system. While earnest efforts have been made, nothing has changed. The last major reform of the immigration system took place in 1986.

Recipients participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program should not have to live in fear of deportation. Congress needs to send a strong signal to this segment of the immigrant community that we welcome their talents, contributions of hard work, desire for education, and if serving, support their willingness to wear the uniform of the armed forces.

Manufacturers call on Congress to assure DACA recipients that their future is safe. Pass legislation well before the administration’s March deadline. We all stand by efforts that improve our immigration system and enhance border security. Moreover, these young people deserve dignity and long-term certainty, including an achievable pathway to legal status.

Sincerely,

Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute

Aluminum Association

American Wire Producers Association

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Association of Pool and Spa Professionals

Association of Washington Business

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Greater North Dakota Chamber

INDA, The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

International Fragrance Association North America

International Housewares Association

Leading Builders of America

Michigan Manufacturers Association

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Missouri Association of Manufacturers

National Association of Manufacturers

National Marine Manufacturers Association

NC Chamber

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Nevada Manufacturers Assn

New Jersey Business & Industry Association

New Mexico Business Coalition

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

Resilient Floor Covering Institute

SNAC International

Texas Association of Business

The Toy Association

Vinyl Siding Institute

 

Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies Need “Extreme Vetting”

By | Immigration, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

National security should always be a top concern of our elected leaders, but it should never be an excuse to marginalize those who are different or to abandon our country’s heritage as a nation of immigrants. Yet, that is exactly what Donald Trump has done over the past year, fomenting hostility toward immigrants generally—and Mexican and Muslim immigrants specifically—by blaming them for a range of perceived problems.

On Monday, he continued his pattern of stoking peoples’ fears about immigration, and, among other things, called for “extreme vetting.” It is his policies and rhetoric that are in need of some “extreme vetting.”

We have an obligation to fix and reform our nation’s immigration system, but that does not mean following the dangerous policies Donald Trump is proposing. The answer is not building a wall. The answer is not imposing a religious test.

Manufacturers know that immigration strengthens our country and our workplaces. As the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) outlined in our “Competing to Win” policy agenda, “Comprehensive immigration reform holds the power to transform not only manufacturing but also our nation and economy to new heights. Unfortunately, political inertia has held us back from achieving progress and needed reforms.”

The current system hurts our competitiveness as foreign-born talent, often educated in the United States, moves abroad to work, manufacture, innovate and compete against us.

The current system is denying people the opportunity to live up to their potential—and move our country forward in the process.

America’s economic frustrations are real, and concerns about national security are valid. However, shameless immigrant bashing and promises to wall off our country—literally and metaphorically—from the rest of the world will make us weaker.

As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons has said, “We attract the best and the brightest, the most industrious, to our shores.” As a country, let us figure out how to empower immigrants—those who are here already and those who still yearn for freedom—to contribute to America’s success.

USCIS Steps Back on Simeio Guidance

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

On May 21st USCIS released guidance detailing new requirements for changes in H-1B employment as a result of an Administrative Appeals Office decision regarding Simeio Solutions. That decision held that employers must file amended H-1B petitions when a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) for nonimmigrant workers is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s worksite location.

The May 21 guidance made the new LCA process retroactive, mandating that LCAs would need to be issued for all H-1B workers whose location had changed prior to the decision, and all of those new petitions would need to be filed before August 19, 2015.   The NAM filed joint comments on the guidance stating that the retroactivity associated with the proposed guidance posed significant costs and burdens on employers, especially given the short August 19, 2015 deadline and that these significant changes should be made through formal notice and comment. Read More

Another Sign of Our Broken Immigration System

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

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. Read More

H-1B Filing Deadline is no Joke

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

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. Read More

Lesser-Skilled Workers are an Essential Part of Immigration Reform

By | Human Resources, Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

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. Read More

Manufacturers Need a Functional Immigration System

By | Immigration | No Comments

A recent report released by the Manufacturing Institute shows that 82 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of highly skilled applicants and face reduced earnings of up to 11 percent annually due to skills shortages. These facts bear out the plain and simple fact that there are not enough highly-skilled workers to meet the increasingly technological demands of manufacturing. This is true despite manufacturing employees being compensated almost 9 percent more than other industries and manufacturers spending an average of $1500 per employee per year on training.

To help fill this gap, manufacturers may attempt to recruit foreign-born workers through the use of H-1B visas, a limited but valuable method of ensuring that the next generation of innovation comes from the US. This issue affects manufacturers from California to New York in all manufacturing sectors from what people traditionally think of as hi-tech industries to heavy equipment and metal fabricating –  and many of these potential employees are recruited because they are graduating from U.S. universities with the skills and training manufacturers are looking for. Read More

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

By | Human Resources, Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

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. Read More

Manufacturers Welcome Congress Back; Say Now Is Time To Govern

By | Economy, Energy, Health Care, Human Resources, Immigration, immigration reform, Infrastructure, Innovation, intellectual property, Regulations, Taxation, Technology, Trade, Transportation | No Comments

As Members of the 114th Congress descend on Washington for orientation, and the 113th Congress convenes for the upcoming lame duck session, manufacturers stand ready to work with our leaders to advance policies that will enable us to continue to grow and create jobs.   Manufacturers believe that now is the time to set aside the differences that have resulted in gridlock, and focus on the pro-growth policies that brought voters to the polls. Simply put, it is time to govern and grow. Read More