By James Thompson
(Note: The Insource Group CEO James Thompson writes that Congress should address three issues that would help businesses across the country. Today’s post focuses on immigration reform.)
Broad immigration reform that addresses a path to citizenship and border security is highly contentious. The chances are slim that bipartisan support can be generated for it this year. Instead, Congress should focus on smaller, more targeted pieces of legislation which have a chance of becoming law. By accomplishing something one step at a time, the immigration issue can be addressed incrementally. Two such steps will help businesses immediately, which will result in more American investment and jobs.
The first is to raise the H1B visa quotes for skilled labor, which will help our economy remain competitive with countries that are creating opportunities faster than we are. I’ve advocated for this for a long time.
The second step is to pass the StartUp Visa Act, which has languished in Congress since 2011. It would create an immigrant visa for entrepreneurs who have the required level of financial backing and can demonstrate that their new ventures will generate a certain amount of employment, revenue or capital investment. This is legislation that should be passed in order to allow the thousands of non-citizens, who are most likely educated in American universities, to stay in this country and continue to contribute to our economy.
(The entire letter was published in the Feb. 16, 2015, issue of the Fort Worth Business Press.)