Letter Supporting an Amendment to the "Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008"
July 26, 2007
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The United States Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, supports amendment 2428 to H.R. 2638, the "Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008," which would provide temporary relief for companies in need of highly skilled workers.
The Chamber represents numerous companies and organizations that need to bring highly skilled workers into the United States each year. As you know, the H-1B visa cap was hit for the ninth time on the first day visas were available for fiscal year 2008. There has also been a backlog of employment based (EB) green cards. The inability of companies to bring highly educated workers and students into the United States, and retain them permanently when needed, severely hurts their ability to compete in the global marketplace. These shortages and inefficient processes often force companies to move some operations to other countries so that they are able to recruit the workers they need. It is imperative that reforms to the H-1B visa program and the EB green card system occur this year, allowing American businesses to remain competitive.
Amendment 2428 would provide an interim solution for companies and organizations in need of highly skilled workers by raising the H-1B cap to 115,000 for 2008. It would also recapture unused EB green cards from previous fiscal years, and make them available to help alleviate the current backlogs. These provisions would provide a needed short-term fix to the system.
The Chamber urges you to support amendment 2428.
R. Bruce Josten