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Companies seek immigration improvements for low-skilled workers

A few weeks ago, technology-based companies were in the news for encouraging lawmakers to make H-1B visas easier to obtain for highly skilled workers. Now, some of the biggest companies in the United States are trying to make it easier for lower-skilled workers to come to Louisiana legally. Chief executives from Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Cargill and multiple other national and regional companies have drafted a letter to lawmakers, pushing for changes in employment immigration.

The letter discusses the companies' need for lower-skilled workers to help them build their workforces all over the country. The recent Senate bill also included a visa program for lower-skilled workers to give them a way to come to the U.S. legally for year-round employment, even if they don't have family in the country.

With the annual August recess looming, many advocates worry that if Congress does not take action soon, immigration legislation will not be passed this midterm election year. In fact, it may not be passed until a new president takes office in 2017. While House Speaker John Boehner has not publicly announced any plans to bring the bills to the House floor, other lawmakers are reportedly preparing to do so. Outside advocates, as well as those in the White House, are also doing their part to keep the focus on immigration issues. However, if Congress does not make a move before the August recess, President Obama may have to use his executive powers to cut down on deportations.

By getting rid of ineffective immigration laws and establishing new visa programs, the United States can move toward reducing illegal immigration.

Source: The State, "Business heads urge action on immigration," Erica Werner, June 9, 2014

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