Business leaders back visa reform for top US jobs

by Ray Clancy on January 23, 2014

Business leaders in the United States are urging the US government to push ahead with immigration reform that could make it easier for them to employ top talent from abroad.

They point out that the current visa application process is cumbersome and bureaucratic when it comes to getting visas for overseas workers who are needed for top jobs.

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US Chamber of Commerce wants new immigration bill passed so that much needed top overseas talent can be brought into the US

Tom Donahue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, is currently leading the charge and wants to see the new immigration bill passed as soon as possible and is warning about an expat brain drain.

During his annual State of American Business address earlier this week, Donahue said that 2014 must be the year the broken immigration system is repaired. He made the Chamber’s support for the immigration reform bill clear, and also indicated his support for President Barack Obama’s push for global trade agreements.

Businesses have been calling for the bill to be passed so that much needed top overseas talent can be brought into the US without wasted time and bureaucratic hassle. In addition, particularly in the technology sector, a lack of prioritising of green cards for expats already employed is leading to high numbers giving up and leaving the US for employment in other countries.

‘We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted. The Chamber will pull out all the stops, through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics, and partnerships with unions, faith organizations, law enforcement, and others, to get it done,’ said Donahue.

Meanwhile, there are warnings that scam artists in the US are preying on those who find themselves in an awkward position regarding visas and green cards as a result of the complexity of the current system.

An example is an Indian technology specialist who arrived in the US sponsored by a technology firm which had offered him a job but which then went bust, invalidating his visa.

He stayed on illegally and eventually consulted a lawyer recommended by a friend who said he could get him a work permit and green card for $20,000.

But the lawyer’s clients were being illegally employed by his shell companies and found themselves facing deportation. The lawyer has now been found out and authorities discovered he had defrauded over 25,000 people.

According to the American Lawyers Association, scam artists target immigrants with high hopes and low knowledge about the process. The association is urging scam victims to report full details to them, as the information will help others in the same position by identifying targets.

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