The US Chamber of Commerce has launched a massive campaign to tackle a growing skills shortage in America and has urged the Biden administration and Congress to scrap the per-country quota applied to US green cards. The Chamber of Commerce recently called for the US H1B visa quota to be doubled to bring more skilled professionals into the country.
The current H1B visa quota is set at 65,000, with a further 20,000 available to those with a PhD from a top US university. The Chamber of Commerce recently launched the America Works campaign calling for an increase in the number of H1B visas made available each year.
Chamber of Commerce CEO and president, Suzanne Clark, said: “As we stand on the cusp of what could be a great American resurgence, a worker shortage is holding back job creators across the country.”
Legal US immigration system reform
The America Work campaign seeks to double the quota on H1B and H2B visas, plus the campaign is targeting reforms to the legal US immigration system to help employers meet the demand for highly skilled jobs in sectors suffering from chronic shortages.
The campaign is also urging the Biden administration to increase federal investment in employer-led job education and training programs and expand access to childcare for working parents.
Clark said: “We must arm workers with the skills they need, we must remove barriers that are keeping too many Americans on the sidelines, and we must recruit the very best from around the world to help fill high-demand jobs.”
The Chamber called for changes to be made to the number of employment-based immigrant visas that are offered each year, including doubling the cap from 140,000 per year to 280,000 a year.
Spouses and children
“Eliminating the practice of counting spouses and minor children under the annual green card quota, which, if done alone, will practically double the amount of employment-based immigrant workers our nation admits every year,” the Chamber said.
“Scrapping per-country caps that punish individuals from certain countries with arbitrarily longer wait times, and when done in combination with expanding the annual quota, will avoid the creation of several new backlogs within the system,” the Chamber added.
The Chamber has also urged the Biden administration to provide international students who graduate from US universities with more opportunities to obtain employment-based green cards upon graduation and enhance and expand opportunities for entrepreneurs to secure permanent residency in order to build their business in America.
The Chamber is also pushing for the Biden administration to ‘responsibly reinstate’ US visa processing at consulates around the world, enabling companies to retain the workers they need without disrupting their business.
“The Biden administration should create a new, geographically targeted visa programme, along the lines of the Heartland Visa proposal, that will drive economic and population growth into American communities struggling with the serious economic and social problems caused by significant population loss,” the Chamber said.
The Chamber said that it is also seeking to expand access to the H2A agricultural worker visa for non-seasonal agricultural businesses, including dairies and livestock producers, to ensure that the program meets the needs of agriculture in the future.
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