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Take Action: Urge Your Senators to Move Forward with Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

When the Senate returned from the spring recess on April 10, 2007, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) welcomed his colleagues back with remarks that highlighted the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform. Unfortunately, and despite commitment from leaders in both parties to make immigration a priority, the Senate has yet to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Time is growing short – urge your senators to put aside partisan politics and move forward with much-needed policy reform now!
Here is what you can do to help:

Use this email service to write your senators : Click Here

Find your Senator’s Phone numbers here – Click this link


Template email:
From: [your name here]
Subject: H-1B/EB sign-on letter to Congress: Raise the H-1B cap and alleviate EB green card backlogs!
As you know, there are no normal H-1B visa numbers available for the next year, until October 1, 2008. The H-1B visa limit was filled on April 2, 2007, 18 months before the end of the next fiscal year. There are also increasing delays in obtaining employment-based (EB) green cards from some countries.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is organizing U.S. companies to ‘sign on’ to a letter that will be sent to each member of Congress urging an increase in the H-1B quota and EB numbers. I urge you to agree to sign that letter, which is pasted in below. If you already agreed to sign on to the letter below before, you don’t need to agree again.

If your company would lend its name to the letter to Congress, chances of raising the H-1B cap back to a more rational level and of obtaining more EB green card numbers would improve. We hope to have 1,000 companies sign the letter. Please reply to me by email to let me know if your company is willing to ‘sign on’ to the letter below. You don’t need to actually sign and send the letter; just tell me you are willing to sign it. Please let me know if you are agreeing to sign on behalf of the headquarters office or your local office.

Only your company name, city and state need appear. Individual responsible persons at a company need not be named.

Thank you in advance for your help on this important issue!
Regards,
[your name here]
Sign-On Letter:
(Download the sign-on letter as a Word document.)
American Businesses Call for Relief from the H-1B Blackout and Employment-Based Green Card Backlog Crisis
[date]
The Honorable __________
United States Congress
Washington, DC ______
Re: Employment Crisis
Dear Senator/Representative ________:
We are writing to urge Congress to take immediate steps to address the crisis facing American businesses as a result of an H-1B “blackout” and serious employment-based (EB) green card backlogs. Companies seeking access to the best and brightest global talent have been confronted with an unprecedented 18-month restriction on access to new H-1B temporary professional employees and multi-year delays in EB green cards for permanent hires. This is in addition to the 16-month H-1B blackout we suffered the prior fiscal year.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the FY 2008 numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for workers was reached on April 2, 2007, the very first day H-1B petitions could be filed this year. The USCIS received over 130,000 H-1B petitions that day, well over the statutory limit. That means that H-1B petitions will undergo a random lottery to determine which ones will actually be selected for processing. This also means that U.S. companies are being denied access to topflight global talent for 18 months, disrupting—if not destroying—crucial research and development projects in critical industries. It will also retard technological innovation and undermine our ability to create and sustain domestic employment opportunities.

A similar crisis is occurring with EB green cards. Because these visas are distributed equally among all countries, with a quota set for each country, backlogs have resulted for individuals coming from high-demand countries, even when the overall cap has not been reached and regardless of the fact that these high-demand countries are often the only source of individuals capable of filling high-skilled jobs American businesses need. Once the quota is met for nationals of a given country, only those who applied before a set cut-off date are able to get visas. The rest are forced to spend up to seven years waiting, unable to become true stakeholders in our country, putting their lives on hold in the hopes that a green card will eventually become available to them. Not surprisingly, these talented professionals often tire of waiting and leave the U.S. to put their knowledge and skills to use in other countries eager to compete with and surpass the U.S.

Every day that passes without access to these high-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. The undersigned entities thus urge swift Congressional action to provide relief from the H-1B blackout and EB backlogs. If U.S. companies do not gain immediate access to the best and brightest, our competitors on the global stage will continue to advance and America’s competitive advantage will decline.

We thank you for your attention in this urgent matter.

Sincerely,
[Company name] [City] [State]