Immigration Reform is Integral to Solving Our Workforce Shortages

Sep 26, 2018

Immigration policy reform is a topic often regarded as controversial, but is an issue too important to the business community for the Economic Alliance to stay silent on.

It’s no secret businesses struggle to find and keep qualified candidates – we regularly hear this from our members. Iowa’s population is not growing fast enough to meet the workforce demands of business and industry. Our country’s current immigration system isn’t serving the needs of employers, employees and communities. There’s much that can be reformed to help ease these burdens to employers and encourage a growing workforce. We support

  • Work and school visa reform that allow more workers to stay in the U.S., including implementing programs for high-skilled and lesser-skilled workers to meet employer demands;
  • A national employment verification system that is workable for employers;
  • A permanent solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allows employers further access to skilled workers and prevents employers from losing current DACA employees. DACA was created to temporarily shield immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation and made them eligible for work permits. In September 2017, President Trump’s Justice Department declared that DACA would end on March 5, 2018. At the time, the President ordered Congress to come up with a permanent solution before the March deadline passed. Currently, recipients of DACA are in limbo because Congress has not found a solution and the federal courts system has put holds on any changes to the program.

Ensuring immigrant populations are welcome in our communities, and will continue to have the ability to live and work in our communities, will help meet current and future labor demands and drive innovation and entrepreneurship.

We must continue to push for a bipartisan solution when it comes to reforming our country’s broken immigration system. Our members consistently tell us growing our skilled workforce is their number one concern. Every opportunity we have, we remind our federal elected official of our concerns and the solutions we’d like to see.

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