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Chamber Pens Op-ed in Detroit Free Press on Immigration Reform

Congress is expected to debate immigration reform in this legislative session and the result could have a significant impact on Detroit and Michigan. Chamber president and CEO, Sandy Baruah, recently wrote a guest column supporting meaningful immigration reform in the Detroit Free Press.

Picking up the conversation from the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, the article focuses on proposed legislation, such as the SKILLs Visa Act, which would address the talent gap by expanding the number of H1-B visas and open the way for highly skilled immigrants to bring their skills to the Michigan workforce. Doing so would increase businesses’ ability to compete in the global economy by bolstering Michigan’s workforce.

Employers have long been frustrated in their efforts to recruit foreign tech talent because U.S. immigration policy limits visas to only 65,000 a year. That inadequate limit has been in place for more than 20 years, even though immigrant workers with degrees or special training in STEM and computer science are a prime source of talent for U.S. companies. The legislation also encourages creation of a national STEM and computer science education fund with the aim of producing more skilled Americans in these fields.

Click here to read the article.

Baruah, also discussed the topic in an interview with WDET’s Craig Fahle.