Manufacturers: Comprehensive Immigration Reform an Absolute Necessity

Policymakers’ Initial Efforts an Encouraging Sign for Reforms

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued a statement in response to further movement in discussions regarding comprehensive immigration reform. Following yesterday’s announcement of a bipartisan and comprehensive proposal, President Obama today offered remarks in Las Vegas, Nev., on the need for immigration reform. Earlier today, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to reform the H-1B visa program to allow employers greater access to high-skilled workers and improve the U.S. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education pipeline. The NAM is a leading member of inSPIRE STEM USA, a coalition of businesses and educational groups advocating for immigration reform.

“Manufacturers will reap the benefits of comprehensive reform—through an enriched workforce, improved economy and stronger communities all working together under the same system. Access to the best workers at all skill levels is critical to manufacturers, and it will take an unwavering bipartisan commitment from the White House and Congress to get the full reforms we need. President Obama’s remarks today in favor of comprehensive reform are encouraging momentum to develop meaningful, comprehensive reforms now.

The bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate is a key component for any final agreement on comprehensive reform. High-skilled workers are the lifeblood of the innovation that manufacturers in the United States need to compete. Thousands of manufacturing jobs remain vacant due to the skills gap. Allowing access to those workers while improving our STEM educational system would provide a solution for today that builds tomorrow’s workforce.

This will not be an easy issue to solve. The recent public comments from the President and members of Congress show that there is strong common ground—they must not waste this opportunity. Manufacturers look forward to ensuring that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality.”

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