As the U.S. Congress continues in its efforts to produce comprehensive immigration reform, I am eager to learn about any new laws that will provide benefits to the many immigrants who wish to become productive members of American society as well as to this great nation. Being an immigration attorney in Texas, I am eager to provide my clients with ways to contribute to their communities and the welfare of the United States. The debate surrounding immigration reform has included voices from many areas of society, but one of the most important has been that of the business community. While many industries like agriculture and construction have been perennial supporters of immigration reform, many Americans fail to realize that the U.S. economy is vastly strengthened by immigrants in a variety of industries.
High tech companies like Google, eBay and Microsoft have benefited enormously from immigrants who attend colleges and universities in the U.S. and remain to launch their own companies or seek jobs. These high tech giants have contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and were initially established by immigrants or their children. Immigration reform would allow more foreign-born students, entrepreneurs and high skilled workers to enter and remain in the U.S.
According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, the medical industry is also a major beneficiary of the immigrant influx. Immigrants are two times as likely to become physicians or home health aides as Americans born here. Many of these immigrants stimulate the economy by producing patents which fuel job creation. In 2011, almost three quarters of new patents were developed by immigrants.
The farming community is heavily reliant upon immigrant labor. Not only are many of these jobs unattractive to Americans, but immigrant labor is often cheap enough to help keep agricultural products low for consumers. Without the workers provided by immigration billions of dollars of fruits and vegetables would go unharvested annually.
While business communities around the country plead for passage of new laws that would lower hurdles to immigration, Congress remains mired in negotiations. While many advocates, like U.S. Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire, have come forward to support the efforts in the Senate and House of Representatives, added challenges in recent weeks threaten to stymy passage. A new amendment by Sen. John Cornyn would allow implementation of a path to citizenship only if border security is amped up.
In the House, one of the Gang of Eight, Raul Labrador withdrew his participation in negotiations due to an issue with health care access for immigrants. In a statement, Labrador voiced his opposition to providing health care to undocumented aliens. The political landscape in the House, however, has not changed significantly with Labrador’s opposition. Successful passage of the bill is largely contingent upon Speaker John Boehner’s support.
As an immigration attorney in Texas, I am very interested in how Congress resolves these many challenges, and if they heed the warnings of the business community. If you have questions or concerns about these or related issues, please contact me at (512) 215-5225 for a private meeting.