Support for S. 1085

5/28/2009
Letters to Congress

​​ May 28, 2009

Sent via Electronic Mail
 
The Honorable Robert Menendez
U.S. Senate
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
Dear Senator Menendez:
 
On behalf of the American Council on International Personnel (ACIP), I am writing to express ACIP’s support for your recent re-introduction of S. 1085. ACIP is a membership-driven trade association dedicated to issues of global mobility. We represent 200 multi-national employers who have a presence in America, a presence abroad and at least 500 employees worldwide. Our members employ millions of U.S. workers in industries ranging from high-tech, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and biotechnology, to private and public research and academic institutions. Since 1972, ACIP has sponsored seminars and produced  publications aimed at educating human resource and legal professionals on compliance with immigration laws, while working with Congress and the Executive Branch to facilitate the movement of key international personnel.
 
ACIP’s members rely on employment-based (EB) green cards to keep much-needed and sought-after highly educated professionals -– including scientists, researchers, teachers and medical professionals -- living, working and innovating in America. Yet, despite the critical importance of these visas, Congress has not yet addressed the well documented backlogs in the EB green card system which leaves many foreign-born, highly educated
professionals waiting years to receive a permanent resident visa. Currently, the EB category for skilled professionals has gone unavailable until October 1, 2009 and the EB category for advanced degree professionals has waits of up to ten years for individuals who were born in India.
 
We applaud your efforts to re-introduce S. 1085 that will address many shortcomings in the EB green card system that ACIP members experience. Your bill will help employers retain many highly-educated workers already on employers’ payrolls, by reducing visa backlogs through a recapture of employment-based green cards from prior years that went unused due to government processing delays. Such a change would allow many professionals on employer’s payrolls to receive a visa so that they might change jobs, move job location, or receive a promotion. This type of change would even allow those individuals’ spouses to work, ending the years of legal limbo and allowing these individuals to move forward with their lives.
 
We also believe the bill’s provisions to allow any future unused employment-based immigrant visas to fall forward from year to year ensures that all visas are used, as thousands annually wait in the green card lines. The bill also importantly raises the per country limits from its current 7 percent to 10 percent of total admissions, while also allowing for derivative beneficiaries of EB visas to benefit from a filed visa petition to adjust status on the basis of a petition filed before the death of the sponsoring relative.
 
Your bill is an important incremental reform to our broken EB immigration system. While ultimately we need a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide highly-educated talent with green card exempt visas and streamline the system for those employers who comply with our immigration laws, your bill is important to reforming the EB green card system. Until we address these key fixes in our system, U.S. employers will continue to be crippled in the global competition for the world’s best talent, as more and more extremely valuable professionals from around the world take their education, innovation and market growth abilities overseas. For all these reasons, we support S. 1085.
 
Sincerely,
Rebecca K. Peters
Director and Counsel for Legislative Affairs
American Council on International Personnel​


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