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Badges, Bibles, and Businesses Join for Immigration Reform

Throughout the summer, ITI and its member companies have joined with a broad coalition of religious groups, education advocates, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other business organizations to reinforce the national importance and urgency of immigration reform.  One of the leading organizations we are partnering with is “Badges, Bibles, and Business,” a network of faith, law enforcement and business leadership pulled together by the National Immigration Forum. Members of Congress, home for the August recess, have been holding town hall meetings and roundtables with constituents, and immigration stakeholders have worked to make sure that constructive and productive conversations about immigration reform are part of the August agenda.

Today, Illinois members of our coalition joined for a call with news outlets from the Land of Lincoln.  Shelly Carlin, Senior Vice President for Human Resources & Communications at Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions (an ITI member), underscored the economic urgency for action:


Action is critical, and it’s critical that we don’t wait.  Comprehensive immigration reform is essential to improving the competitiveness of our country.  Technology jobs in our particular sector go unfilled at the same time as our universities and colleges continue to attract highly talented graduates from all over the world.

. . . .

We need action to address all aspects of immigration reform, to grow our economy, and to get businesses moving again.


You can hear all of Shelly’s comments here.

Shelly noted that Motorola Solutions, at any one time, has several hundred software and engineering jobs that are open and go unfilled because there aren’t enough qualified individuals available in the U.S.  It’s a reality that stretches across the technology sector.  Right now, on the tech-jobs site, you can find 16,761 open engineering jobs, 20,677 open positions for developers, and 21,231 science-based positions.  The list goes on, from positions in software to testing to infrastructure to security.  As Shelly noted on the call,


Immigration reform clearly is the answer to help us and other businesses in the near term.


The tech sector has been clear that immigration reform is only one part of the answer to the skilled workforce challenges facing the U.S. economy.  Our companies invest in many global markets, but are also investing for growth across our own country.  We recognize that the most promising opportunities -- with the right policies in place -- are here. 

That’s why we embrace the opportunity to create more high-paying jobs with increased investments in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in America’s schools.  We support proposals that would increase fees on skilled visas, with these additional revenues dedicated to preparing American students for STEM opportunities.  These investments, Shelly noted, are complemented by skilled immigration reform, as both are essential to America's long-term economic strength. 


The United States lags far behind other countries in terms of the percentage of students who go into STEM.  We think the long-term solution has to be that we get our students prepared and into STEM programs so that we can be competitive as an economy.


There are a number of important issues waiting for members of Congress when they head back to the Capitol, and immigration reform is one of them.  Working with our member companies and our fellow immigration reform stakeholders, we will continue to keep the positive momentum for reform moving forward.

Public Policy Tags: Immigration
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