Technology Industry Continues to Press for Immigration Reform

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 01:28 PM

By Dan Weil

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While Congress has shifted its focus to Syria, the technology industry continues to push for immigration reform that would allow more foreign skilled workers into the country.

The Senate passed a bill in June giving the industry much of what it wanted, but the House has yet to act. Silicon Valley is trying to push the process along, despite the congressional preoccupation with Syria, Politico reports.

"We feel like [the Syria] issue will be addressed in the next week or two, and then the congressional focus continues to move on to other issues," Dan Turrentine, vice president of government relations for TechNet, a technology promotion group, told Politico.

"We respect the process to do as they see fit, but we absolutely think it can get done this year."

Scott Corley, executive director of Compete America, doesn't see Syria or the coming debate on a debt limit increase as reasons for the House to ignore immigration. His company is backing reform efforts in hopes of increasing visas for highly-skilled foreign professional workers to help fill jobs that Americans may not be qualified to fill.

"We’re not going to accept the crisis excuse," he told Politico. "There is always a crisis. Immigration is a crisis. Being in Congress you have to walk, chew gum, juggle knives and jump through hoops on fire all at once. That’s the job."

AOL co-founder Steve Case argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Tuesday that easing the path for skilled foreigners to work in the United States is crucial to maintaining U.S. economic competitiveness.

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