Release Date: Mar 15, 2000Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Urges Swift Action on High-Tech Immigration Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today announced its support for the bipartisan HITECH Act – sponsored by Representatives David Dreier (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) – which would allow more H-1B visas for foreign, high-skilled workers, with the revenue from the visas used to improve job training and education for American workers.
"High-tech jobs at U.S. firms are going unfilled, while foreign workers are being denied temporary visas under a cap that is set too low," said Bruce Josten, Chamber Executive Vice President. "The demand for workers with technical skills exceeds the current supply here in America and will for the next several decades."
The Chamber cited Census Bureau data that estimates the nation will need an additional 20 million workers to sustain economic growth between 2006 and 2026. Employment demand is projected to outstrip workforce growth, the Chamber noted.
The current annual limit on H-1B visas (115,000) is reached earlier and earlier every year. Increasing the cap on visas to 200,000 for fiscal 2001, 2002 and 2003, will enable companies to fill more high-tech jobs and the new visas will generate more than $100 million for education and training for American workers and students, according to the Chamber.
"Businesses will work with Congress to find long-term domestic solutions to the problem of worker shortages," said Josten. "Better elementary through High School education efforts, community-business partnerships, and more job training programs are all necessary steps toward building and maintaining an adequate skilled-labor pool."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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