The unfair treatment of undocumented immigrant workers in America has spurred many immigration reform advocates to push for support on the local and national level. Some advocates of more comprehensive immigration laws wish to see progress in a step-by-step process, while others believe that focusing on the major political and economic issues surrounding immigration reform is the right place to start. Either way, the public is waiting for both Congress and President Barack Obama to fulfill their promise of swift action concerning immigration reform.
One member of Congress, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sat down with a group of Utah entrepreneurs to discuss how immigration reform could benefit the U.S. economy. He told his constituents that better immigration laws would not take away jobs from hardworking Americans, but instead create more opportunities for everyone. Hatch is a big supporter of a portion of immigration reform that is concerned with the expansion of the H1B visa. He believes that highly educated immigrants who have expertise in engineering and other scientific fields are the answer to expanding high-tech companies in Utah.
“Why would we push people that we’ve educated who have master’s degrees, Ph.D.s … out of this country when we clearly have need for them, and they clearly want to stay here?” Hatch said at his meeting with the Utah entrepreneurs.
According to the many business leaders in Utah, the need for immigration reform should be a major priority for the U.S. government. Darren Lee, the executive vice president of Proofpoint in Draper, Utah, and host of the meeting, thinks Utah’s companies are unified by their belief in the important role immigrant workers play in the U.S. economy.
Hatch and his constituents aren’t the only people who believe the U.S. needs to act quickly on immigration reform. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, thinks that talented immigrants are actively seeking work visas. However, the U.S. government needs to create better immigration laws to make transitioning into citizenship easier.