DETROIT — As a part of the National Day of Action, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Global Detroit, the Michigan Office for New Americans, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, and other business and economic organizations came together today to call on Congress and the president to support a broad framework for comprehensive immigration reform as an imperative for the economy.
“We want our national elected officials to understand that especially in Metro Detroit and across Michigan, and in other urban centers, in the nation’s heartland, immigration reform is a critical component of a prosperous economic future,” says Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit.
The Michigan event, held at the Detroit Regional Chamber, focused on economic opportunities that were lost because of current immigration restrictions that Michigan corporations face in hiring skilled immigrant workers. A recent report from the Partnership for a New American Economy highlighted metro Detroit as having the fourth largest number of H-1B applications denied in 2007 and 2008, with over 5,300 denied on an annual basis. The PNAE report estimates that approval of these visa applications would have generated an additional 3,600 to 15,000 jobs for U.S.-born workers in metro Detroit, adding $44 million to $135 million in wages for existing U.S.-born computer workers in metro Detroit.
While these businesses and organizations spoke at the Detroit Regional Chamber, similar groups gathered in 24 other states as national leaders from the PNAE , the US Chamber, the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, National Farm Bureau, and other national organizations gathered in Washington, DC.
For more on the Partnership for the New American Economy and its H-1B Impact study visit renewoureconomy.org.