immigration reform

Immigration Reform Maintains Support of the American People

By | immigration reform | No Comments

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary election in what was a stunning upset last week and immigration has been mentioned as a contributor to the defeat. Cantor has been a supporter of key components of immigration reform and his primary opponent highlighted the issue during the campaign. Although press reports initially indicated that his views on immigration may have caused the loss, polls show that more than 70% of voters in his district favor reform – though support for reform was likely much lower among primary voters who voted last week.

No matter who leads Congress, immigration reform is necessary to the American economy and manufacturers. Now more than ever, we need Congress to push forward with reforming a system that most admit is entirely broken. Whether it is the issues we are experiencing on the southern border, access to international talent, the need for a more robust verification, or addressing the millions of undocumented people currently living in the shadows, we need to take a hard look at what is wrong and how to fix it. Inaction on fixing what is clearly broken will not make the situation better and it may well make it worse. Plain and simple, this issue needs to be addressed by Congress. Manufacturers need the system to work for America again and will stand with all Members of Congress who are ready to  get it done.


H-1B Visa Petition Period Open For a Grand Total of One Week

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Yesterday, US Customs and Immigration Service announced that it had received more than enough H-1B petitions to reach the cap for FY 2015. At this point all submitted petitions will be placed in a lottery to determine which are accepted. As the USCIS announcement states, “A computer-generated process will randomly select the number of petitions needed to meet the caps…” Computers, not the employers in need of the workers, are randomly deciding who should design, build and manufacturer tomorrow’s products. Unless we address immigration reform we are driving our innovators to leave the United States.

Every day, foreign-born innovators that are already legally in the United States sit in limbo, waiting up to 10 year for their green card. These valuable employees cannot be promoted or change companies for fear of being forced to start all over again at the back of a 10 year process.  This cycle needs to stop. Manufacturers need access to a skilled workforce and need to know we can hire and promote the right person for the job – not play the job lottery.

Reform of the legal immigration system is necessary for US manufacturing to succeed. The uncertainty associated with a random lottery is counterproductive to economic growth. Manufacturers want to create jobs here in the US, not drive them abroad. Gambling our future on the Federal government drawing the right person is not a sound strategy for our economy.

Five Announcements That Manufacturers Would Like To See From the President Today

By | Economy, Energy, Immigration, immigration reform, Regulations, Taxation, Trade | No Comments

Approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s Presidential Permit Application

  • It’s been nearly five years since the Presidential Permit application was filed to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. In addition to the 20,000 construction jobs that the pipeline would create, 118,000 jobs would be created in the supply chain of the pipeline. These are manufacturing jobs to make the steel, valves, compressor stations and heavy equipment necessary to make the pipeline become a reality. Keystone XL needs to be approved for the good of our country’s competitiveness, our nation’s energy consumers, our national interests and especially the 138,000 Americans who desperately need the jobs that this project would create.

Continued Focus on Immigration Reform

  • Immigration reform will lift America up – it is intrinsic to who we are as a nation. It’s far too important to allow demagoguery to derail comprehensive reform, and all parties involved should avoid the traditional politicking that often accompanies this issue. The NAM is committed to seeing it through, and we will, because it is the right thing to do.

Re-examination of EPA Regulations that Hurt Manufacturers and Job Creation

  • Over the past several years, the EPA has proposed and implemented an array of regulations that are hurtful to the economy, including the Boiler MACT, Utility MACT and PM 2.5 NAAQS. Now, the EPA is considering another proposal that would further limit the construction of new fossil-fuel power plants, potentially taking stable and affordable sources of energy off the table and putting the power grid at further risk. The cumulative impact of these regulations is bad news for the manufacturing economy and will result in less reliable electricity at a higher price. Manufacturers and the 12 million people making things in America want a strategy that includes all available domestic sources of energy. Piling on with more costly regulations is not the answer.

Stronger Push for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)

  • The NAM commends President Obama for advocating for TPA in a recent Presidential address, and supports all efforts to ensure he receives this crucial authority. A robust international trade and investment negotiating agenda is vital to the success of manufacturing in the United States. To create jobs and drive growth, manufacturers must be able to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders. When overseas markets are open, businesses and workers win. Durable negotiating authority that includes strong provisions on consultation and review by Congress is a fundamental requirement of an effective U.S. negotiating structure to open foreign markets.

New Approach To Comprehensive Tax Reform

  • NAM would like to see the Administration offer support to Congress’ efforts to pass revenue neutral tax reform for corporations and individuals that leaves no one behind. Tax reform is essential to long term economic growth in this nation – and the White House should offer strong support to reform that refuses to pick winners and losers but instead reduces the tax burden on all Americans.

A Commitment to Reform

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

A clear theme is emerging from the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) ongoing dual town hall discussion on comprehensive immigration reform: commitment to getting the job done. “This is not new,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, on the current situation in Congress. “I would argue that it’s better from the pro-immigration perspective than it’s ever been before.” Ryan underscored that immigration reform is not only a national security issue, it is an economic security issue, a point reiterated by both NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Under the current, broken system, the United States is sending the talent that manufacturers and other employers need to our competitors abroad. Comprehensive immigration reform will improve our competitiveness, Cargill Chairman and CEO Gregory Page said from the concurrent town hall meeting at the company’s headquarters in Hopkins, Minnesota. “Cargill’s worked on comprehensive immigration reform for nearly a decade,” Page said. Now it is time for Washington to finish the job.