Many Hoping Election Means Movement For High-Skill Immigration

Numerous U.S.-based companies are publically stating that they hope the Obama administration will turn its focus to immigration reform. Large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft have openly called for the H-1B visa program, pushing highly-skilled foreign-born workers, and for a lessening of the restrictions on the intra-company transfers of foreign-based employees to U.S.-based offices, known as L-1 visas. The company Microsoft has begun advocating for new $10,000 H-1B visas.

Immigration reform for both illegal residents and high-skilled workers is at the forefront of the immigration issues both Congress and the Obama administration will have to hammer out, along with the looming budget deficit. But many lawmakers are unsure how to approach immigration reform, when illegal immigration remains a hot-button issue. Though it is possible Congress will work toward resolving high-skill immigration issues, it has long been a high-visibility issue in Washington, with little change. The last large push for comprehensive immigration reform was during President George W. Bush’s reign in 2007. President George W. Bush together with Senator Ted Kennedy teamed to map out a bill to work on how to manage the country’s undocumented residents, tighten border security issues and open up the high-tech foreign workforce, but buzzwords like “chain migration” and “pathways to citizenship” hit a bipartisan wall, and nothing meaningful was done.

Issues facing comprehensive immigration reform include how to work out the details of the DREAM Act, how to decide which highly-skilled tech workers should be placed, and how to weigh both family-based and employment-based immigration. There is some hope: some Republicans and Democrats are teaming together to draft a new employment-based visas plan for foreign college graduates with STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) degrees. Last month, the House of Representatives voted on a bill which failed mostly for internal reasons, but may soon be back for reconsideration. The push for an influx of a creative, innovate workforce to help develop intellectual property to boost the U.S. economy and invigorate the tech sector has never been more important. For companies large and small, the addition of more highly-skilled workers are needed to meet the constant demands of the tech industry.

Peter Muller, Director of Government Relations and Immigration Policy at Intel Corporation, recently stated that Intel advocates for legislation which will provides additional STEM visas for their new employees and U.S.-based foreign employees. Those foreign-born employees typically must wait years and sometimes decades to get permanent work status, and they have proven to generate, on average, three new U.S. jobs with their skills.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

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