Issues and events that shape Long Island's economic and legislative landscape.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Letter to Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Committees immigration reform

February 6, 2013

Honorable Patrick Leahy                                                                     Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee                                          Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee  
437 Russell Senate Bldg.                                                                   2426 Rayburn Building
United State Senate                                                                             Washington, DC 20515
Washington, DC 20510 

Honorable Bob Goodlatte                                                                   Honorable Chuck Grassley
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee                                          Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
2309 Rayburn HOB                                                                              135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                     Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Chuck Grassley, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Congressman John Conyers, Jr.:                                                                                                              

The Long Island Association (LIA), one of the leading business organizations in New York State, strongly supports the federal government''s efforts to reform the nation''s immigration laws. In particular, we are focused on ensuring that highly-skilled immigrants can legally enter the United States, stay here and help drive the new innovation economy we are building on Long Island and throughout New York State.

The LIA supports the following principles:

  1. Provide green cards to entrepreneurs who create U.S. jobs and advance STEM degree graduates from U.S. universities.
  2. Expand the H-1B cap and establish a market-based H-1B escalator so that the cap can adjust to the demands of the economy.
  3. Exempt U.S. advanced degree graduates, as well as foreign advanced STEM degree graduates with U.S. work experience, from the green card cap.
  4. Streamline applications and expand visa opportunities for temporary seasonal workers.

In order to ensure our competitiveness in the world, it is essential that the federal government encourage the arrival of more high-tech workers, and the pillar of the Long Island region is our burgeoning innovation economy. Thus, Congress needs to consider increasing the number of immigrants with extraordinary technological skills who can travel to and work in the United States. Many of the principal users of visas to secure skilled talent are our leading research and educational facilities, which are integral components of our economy. They need access to immigrants with specialized skills, which in turn will also create jobs and increase economic growth.

In addition, Congress needs to also consider streamlining applications and expanding visa opportunities for temporary seasonal workers. Long Island''s East End communities rely heavily on foreign workers during its busy summer tourist season. Our farmers, restaurants and hotels depend on immigrants to meet their employment needs.

The Long Island business community supports these common sense immigration reforms, which will spur economic activity and create jobs.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kevin Law small low res_1.jpg 
Kevin S. Law
President and CEO
Long Island Association


cc:        Honorable Barack Obama, United States President
             Honorable Chuck Schumer, United States Senator
             Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator
             Honorable Pete King, United States Congressman
             Honorable Steve Israel, United States Congressman
             Honorable Carolyn McCarthy, United States Congressman
             Honorable Timothy Bishop, United States Congressman