Increase Competitiveness Through a Legal, Skilled Workforce
• Manufacturers are significantly impacted by the lack of workers with skills tomeetthe needs of advanced manufacturing. They need immediate solutions toreplenish the pipeline and help bring America out of the economic recession.• Immediate efforts must be made to expand and modernize the currentemployment-based visa programs to ensure that talented internationalworkers are drawn to the United States. In addition, valuable contributors tothe U.S. economy should be retained. Green card backlogs cost employersimportant talent and must be reduced.• In a 2010 survey, NAM members chose “creating a market based system toattract talent” as the most important goal of immigration reform.• Employers currently rely on a paper-based verification system known as theI-9 form and the additional electronic system known as E-Verify. Both are overlycomplex, administratively burdensome and subject to fraud and identity theft.• America’s manufacturers want a legal workforce and need a quick, efficient,reliable and inexpensive system of verification. The outdated immigrationsystem must be revamped to ensure America has access to the talent neededfor researching, developing and manufacturing new products and servicesthat help us remain competitive.• Adopting a legal immigration system that better reflects market demands andprovides the flexibility needed to respond to specialized skill needs is vital tomaintaining manufacturers’ ability to fuel economic growth.
How Congress Can Help
• Update the employment-based green card system to decrease the backlog.• Create an immigration system based on market demands to improve innovation.• Promote a legal workforce without displacing Americans who want available jobs.• Utilize a reliable verification system that shields employers who use the system from liability.• Revise the current visa policy to allow U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree holderswho have a job offer to transition directly from student visa to green card if employment is available.
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