USIBC steps ups campaign on immigration reform

Oct 09 2013, 15:12 IST
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The Council had recently established a 'Coalition for Jobs and Growth' to support the Obama administration's immigration reform. Reuters The Council had recently established a 'Coalition for Jobs and Growth' to support the Obama administration's immigration reform. Reuters
SummaryThe US-India Business Council has stepped up its campaign to address the concerns.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has stepped up its campaign to address the concerns of the IT industry over certain provisions of the comprehensive immigration reform, which has now entered a crucial phase.

The Council had recently established a 'Coalition for Jobs and Growth' to support the Obama administration's immigration reform.

"While USIBC and the Coalition for Jobs & Growth fully support comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, there are five key provisions in the Senate Bill that will significantly harm US companies' ability to remain globally competitive, which will cost American jobs," USIBC president Ron Somers said.

"It is imperative for US and Indian Industry to pull together as never before to help educate the US Congress and the US Administration about why these provisions are discriminatory and how they will hurt American business, as well as our commercial relationship with India," he said.

"These provisions need to be excised from any final Bill. The Coalition for Jobs & Growth will work tirelessly to ensure this responsible legislative outcome," Somers said.

USIBC chairman Ajay Banga, also the CEO of MasterCard, has been making the lawmakers aware of the provisions of the immigration visas, in particular those related to the H-1B and L-1 visas, besides launching a campaign at the Capitol Hill on the lines of the one seen during the days of the civilian nuclear deal.

In an oped in The Hill newspaper, Banga has urged lawmakers to ensure that such killer provisions of the bill – that is included in the Senate version of the bill -- is not included in the one to be passed by the House of Representatives.

"High-skilled workers play a major role in the US economy today. They work for our biggest job creators, are often entrepreneurs themselves and are directly contributing to the innovative companies that will employ Americans for generations to come," Banga said.

"Until the US can produce sufficient numbers of skilled professionals domestically, the reality is that talent must be sourced from around the globe so our companies can continue to compete successfully on the global stage," he said.

The intensification of the USIBC efforts at the Hill has come amid nationwide demonstrations calling for comprehensive immigration reform which culminated in a rally in Washington yesterday, during which they urged the lawmakers to pass the immigration reform this year.

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