Immigration News From the DNC

Posted on September 5, 2012 by Have A Voice Team

By: Rebecca Peters, Director and Counsel, Legislative Affairs ACIP

These past two weeks in Tampa and Charlotte have been a blur! But we at ACIP have enjoyed our time educating at both conventions and spreading the word on the need to reform our high-skilled immigration system and why it is important to growing jobs and the U.S. economy. We’ve been to events all over Charlotte this week – we even ran into Anderson Cooper! See the pictures of meeting him and more here. Continue reading for the full scoop on what has been happening at the DNC so far this week or catch up on last week’s RNC immigration buzz here.

While the economy still remains the top issue at both conventions, discussions around immigration at the DNC kicked off with the release of the Democratic platform on Tuesday, where it emphasized that the United States must be “a destination for global talent and ingenuity” and that we must “make it possible for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to stay and help create jobs here at home,” reflecting a central ACIP advocacy message. The platform also highlights that “President Obama has made important progress in implementing immigration policies that reward hard work and demand personal responsibility” and that “[w]e are continuing to work to hold employers accountable for whom they hire.” Additionally, “the Obama administration provided temporary relief for youth who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, grew up as Americans and are poised to make a real contribution to our country.” Read the full Democratic platform here.

In a POLITICOPro story today, the tech industry, including ACIP’s own Rebecca Peters, gave its take on both the Democratic and Republican immigration platforms, which you can read here (subscription only).

Together, the SHRM and ACIP teams spent a lot of time discussing global mobility and the skills gap throughout the conventions. In front of an audience of SHRM members at the Ballantyne Country Club in Charlotte, SHRM CEO Hank Jackson shared that on a recent trip to Brazil, he heard that a top concern for the country is how it will address the skills gap. As this shows, this is a global problem we are dealing with. The concern over the skills gap was echoed by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) at a SHRM-sponsored Third Way luncheon, where she pointed to the 3.76 million jobs open in the United States that cannot be filled because there are not enough workers with the appropriate skills to fill these positions. ACIP’s Lynn Shotwell also provided her thoughts on the discussions around immigration and global mobility while at the DNC. Watch a video of her thoughts here.

Later tonight we will continue to spread the message on high-skilled immigration at events taking place at Charlotte’s Mez and at the convention center. Don’t forget to tune into the President’s speech tomorrow night, when immigration is likely to be discussed. He’ll be speaking around 10:30PM ET, and you can tune in to watch it on the Conventions HQ at http://bit.ly/HAVlive.

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