In New York and across the U.S., businesses are struggling to fill their open positions because of a labor shortage. Even though the unemployment rate is at record lows, there are many companies with open positions that they cannot fill. Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called for increased immigration and a permanent solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to address the labor shortage and supply chain disruptions that continue to roil the economy. A New York immigration attorney at Oltarsh & Associates can help people with their immigration needs.
Chamber of Commerce Calls for Immigration Reform
On Jan. 10, 2022, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark, called for legal immigration into the U.S. to be doubled. She also stated that a permanent solution for DACA recipients should be found to allow them to permanently live and work in the U.S.
The DACA program was created by former President Barack Obama to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children to protect them from deportation and removal proceedings as long as they meet certain requirements. DACA protection is renewable every two years, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.
Clark stated that business leaders believe the labor shortage is a contributing factor to the current disruptions in the supply chain and increasing rates of inflation. She noted that immigrants at all skill levels are willing to work within the U.S. and could help to solve the labor shortage problems that are currently affecting businesses. She called for the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to the U.S. to be doubled and for Congress to create a permanent solution for DACA program recipients so that they can achieve legal status in the country.
Obstacles to Immigration Reform in Congress
While immigration reform has long been called for by activists, the push for legislative action has been met with obstacles for years. Democrats and corporations have proposed several laws to reform the immigration system and provide several types of amnesty for certain classes of undocumented immigrants, including providing paths to citizenship for DACA recipients, essential workers, and certain people who are present in the U.S. under temporary protected status (TPS). In 2021, a major immigration bill failed in Congress in the face of stiff opposition by Republicans. No Republican senators supported the bill. A budget reconciliation bill that included several immigration provisions was blocked by Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.
In addition to providing amnesty to undocumented immigrants, the reform bill would have also increased the annual caps for diversity visas, family visas, and work visas. The budget reconciliation bill included a provision that would have allowed unused green cards to carry over to subsequent years so that they could be used to reduce immigration backlogs. Big Tech companies were major proponents of these provisions because they could be used to hire more H-1B visa holders to work in technology jobs. Many members of Congress have also called for giving permanent legal status to DACA recipients, but no legislation to do so has been passed.
While the Chamber of Commerce has historically been aligned with the Republican party, a schism between it and Republican legislators has arisen. In response to Clark’s call for immigration reform, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated that the Chamber of Commerce had left the Republican party long ago. McCarthy claimed that the Chamber of Commerce no longer has any influence and argued that Republicans are focused on their responsibility to the public. However, Republicans in Congress have proposed nothing to address the problems facing the U.S. economy and businesses even though immigration reform could provide a solution.
Get Help With Immigration Into the US
Comprehensive immigration reform would help to solve many of society’s issues in the U.S., but it is unlikely that anything meaningful will be passed in the current political climate. People who need help with immigration matters should consult the experienced immigration law attorneys at Oltarsh & Associates to learn about their options. We have successfully defended many people against removal and might be able to offer some help. Call us today at 212-944-9420.