From the Executive Director - June 2015

6/23/2015
"In the Know" Updates

​​Member Powe​r Makes the Difference


As many of you know, last week was incredibly busy and exciting for CFGI, with all the activity associated with our annual Symposium in Washington, DC. I have to say that, from my perspective, it was a great success, in large part because of the strong energy that our members brought to the event (take a look at our Symposium photo gallery).

From top-notch speakers, to insightful panel discussions and productive meetings with congressional staff, our members stressed the importance of continuing to advance immigration reform despite the gridlock in Washington and the uncertainties surrounding President Obama’s executive action.

Discussions touched on a variety of topics that matter to immigration professionals, but there was a focus on the three key issues CFGI continues to emphasize in meetings with congressional and agency staffs: increasing access to H-1Bs; creating a Trusted Employer program that streamlines and increases the efficiency of immigration application processing; and providing employers with the tools needed to hire a legal workforce.

As evidence of your energy, I will note the increased participation on social media, with many participants tweeting – and retweeting– about what our speakers had to say (check out our Twitter page). Also, our congressional staff briefing, held as part of Advocacy Day, was very well attended and featured a lively discussion of the issues at stake.

Every speaker reminded us that the battle to reform the U.S. employment-based immigration system is far from over, and the sense of realism about the uphill climb ahead of us didn’t go unnoticed. However, our members’ commitment to persevering was impressive. I watched as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez reacted to the energy in the room and spoke one-on-one with professionals who asked questions during his keynote. The resounding message was clear: Employers need immigration reform that ensures they have the talent necessary to compete in today’s marketplace.

That means keeping up the efforts and pushing through the few doors to reform that are open at this time, including at the international level. As an organization, we are now a participant in every major international discussion on immigration policy, and the panel on the challenges employers face on the global front provided insight that will shape and strengthen our message going forward.

CFGI is already starting to plan for next year’s Symposium, which will take place in Washington, DC, from June 18 to 22, alongside the SHRM Annual Conference. Our event will continue to provide you access to policymakers and experts on U.S. and global employment-based immigration, but will now also provide opportunities to experience key content and events from SHRM’s major annual event. We will let you know more about this event in the coming months.

As I said in my opening comments at Symposium, no other business organization is positioned to handle the complexity of immigration issues – and how they affect each other – than CFGI. With your energy, expertise and support, we are poised to continue the fight to advance immigration reform, both here in the United States and across the world.

Thank you again to all who attended. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Symposium.

Sincerely,

Lynn Shotwell
Executive Director

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