Dear Mr. President:
We write to encourage you to proceed with modernizing and streamlining the U.S. immigrant visa system, a policy you announced that you would pursue as part of the Presidential memorandum on executive immigration action on November 21, 2014. We agree with your characterization that "immigrants have helped the United States build the world's strongest economy," and hope that further administrative progress toward reform can be made as quickly as possible given the urgent need to address economic challenges posed by our broken immigration system.
As you know, businesses big and small, in nearly every sector of our economy, support immigration reform. Additionally, more than 3 in 4 Americans across the political spectrum support fixing our badly broken system. As American companies continue to grow, improving U.S. economic competitiveness, they need the ability to hire employees with specialized skills, specifically in the STEM fields. While we must continue to take steps to create the native-born high-skilled American workforce we need, high-skilled immigrants contribute to our expanding technology sector, create American jobs, and raise the wages of native-born American workers.
Our broken immigration system is far behind the needs of our rapidly expanding economy. Immigrants allow the U.S. to compete in a global economy. Without reform, entrepreneurs and business owners are unable to hire the talent they need, many workers may be separated from their families, and hardworking foreign students who've earned their education at U.S. institutions will be kicked out to work for our global competitors - rather than creating their companies and growing jobs here at home. Year after year, applications for H-1B visas are met within mere days of the lottery opening. Our current immigration visa problems prevent the best and the brightest from expanding their companies in the U.S., growing our economy, and creating American jobs.
In the absence of fundamental legislative reform to our broken system, we strongly encourage you to do what you can administratively to right this wrong. We are encouraged that you state in the memorandum that you will consult with relevant stakeholders to "ensure that administrative policies, practices, and systems use all of the immigrant visa numbers that the Congress provides for and intends to be issued, consistent with demand."
Visa recapture is an essential part of fixing our broken immigration system. We believe that in the absence of fundamental legislative reform, we can make progress toward the goal of recapturing and reallocating all previously unused visas administratively. This reform could impact hundreds of thousands of employment-based visas and would be the largest boost in decades impacting the business community's urgent challenges navigating our broken legal immigration system.
We urge you to modernize our immigrant visa inefficiencies by recapturing all previously unused green cards to benefit our country's innovation, spur economic power, and help entrepreneurs create American jobs without further delay.