National Sign-On Letter to House on H-1Bs, U.S. Immigration

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From: Joachim Feise (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 15:58:27 PDT

The industry finally seems to get in the act.


This letter was sent to each member of the House of Representatives on June 6

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the American Business for Legal Immigration Coalition (ABLI), we want you to know of our strong support for
H.R. 3983, the HI-TECH Act. The bill, which temporarily raises the cap on H-1B visas, addresses the critical workforce
shortage American employers face, particularly for jobs requiring degrees in math, science and engineering.

Three trends are at the crux of the problem: Unemployment is at a record, 30-year low. Demand for professionals with
highly specialized skills has soared, while the number of American students graduating from U.S. universities with
undergraduate degrees in math, science, engineering and other technical disciplines has declined. Finally, the way
companies design, manufacture and market products and services around the globe demands international personnel
mobility. Unfortunately, American employers are finding it increasingly difficult to locate and recruit professionals
to meet current project demands. Failure to raise the cap to allow access to highly educated foreign professionals,
many of whom were educated at U.S. universities, will result in lost sales, delayed projects and other setbacks that
will threaten the technological preeminence of U.S. industry.

H.R. 3983 would provide immediate relief to employers. It would ensure that a number of visas are clearly reserved for
individuals with masters degrees and above, as well as for individuals working for institutions of higher education and
non-profit research organizations. Moreover, it would institute changes to the green card process that would help to
alleviate some of the pressures that are currently borne by the H-1B program. The bill also directs funds raised by the
fee to effective education and training programs that help lay the groundwork for longer-term solutions to the worker
shortage issue. H.R. 3983 enjoys broad bipartisan
support from Members across the country.

While H.R. 4227 does acknowledge the need to adjust the cap, we do not believe that it provides the necessary changes to
deliver meaningful relief. Indeed, H.R. 4227 imposes burdensome new requirements on the H-1B program that would make
the program unusable for many employers.

With the cap on H-1Bís already expired, the need to address this issue quickly is acute. We cannot afford to maintain
an artificial cap on our technology-driven economy. We look forward to working with you to pass H.R. 3983 in the weeks
ahead. Should you have any additional questions or need more information, please go to, or
contact Sandy Boyd at (202) 637-3133.


[A bunch of companies and universities]

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