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Sen. Warner Talks Immigration Reform and Advanced Care Planning in NoVA

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On Friday Senator Warner travelled through Northern Virginia, holding events highlighting a few of the nation's challenges and his work in Congress to address them.

At an event hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, Senator Warner spoke to business leaders and tech entrepreneurs about how our outdated immigration policies are holding back the economy.

The Patch newspapers recorded his remarks:

"If you look around this room, and I have seen data that supports this, 35 to 40 percent of tech-related companies in Northern Virginia have at least one founder that is a first-generation American," said Warner. "If we had Post-9/11 immigration policies in place in the 1980s and 90s, I am not sure we would ever have had companies like Intel or Google."

Senator Warner's bipartisan Startup Act 3.0 creates entrepreneur and STEM visas for high-skilled immigrants to stay in the United States, where they can help grow our economy.

"We train these people, then say you have to go home, while the rest of the world has dramatically changed the rules," Warner said. "I think the country recognizes that our currently broken immigration system does not do anything to advance our economic interests."

Later that day Senator Warner held a town hall meeting at the University of Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg about an issue that has great personal resonance for him: advanced care planning. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star covered the event:

"We've got to have an adult conversation in this country about end-of- life issues," Warner told the hospital employees.

He said that a majority of people don't talk about end-of-life issues until they're faced with hard choices. In many cases, that leaves a family to make choices without knowing what their ill loved one would have wanted.

Warner wants people to be encouraged to have those conversations earlier, and to write out advanced directives detailing their wishes that could follow them across state lines if necessary.

He was careful to say that he doesn't want to limit or restrict any care-- just provide more encouragement for people to plan ahead, and identify health care professionals that people can talk to about such issues.

"You ought to be able to have that kind of informed conversation," Warner said after the town hall meeting.

Senator Warner plans to introduce related legislation in the coming weeks. He also spoke about the need to find a bipartisan resolution to the debt and deficit problem, in order to maintain the long-term solvency of vital programs for seniors like Medicare and Medicaid.

"We're not going to pay for anything if we can't get our debt under control," he told the Free Lance-Star.

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