Immigration Buzz @ The RNC

Posted on September 3, 2012 by Have A Voice Team

By: Rebecca Peters, Director & Counsel for Legislative Affairs  
ACIP

We’ve wrapped up our week at the Republican National Convention and have lots of good immigration-related news to share.

As presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in his speech on Thursday night, “We are a nation of immigrants,” so we were encouraged that the GOP included immigration issues in two key sections of their platform, released Tuesday,that address rebuilding the economy and creating jobs, as well as reforming the government to serve the people.

Of most interest, however, the Republicans recognized an advocacy message ACIP has long delivered to Washington, namely that it is “critical the United States has a highly trained and skilled workforce … [including] by a policy of strategic immigration, granting more work visas to holders of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math from other nations.” Read the GOP platform, including sections that address green cards for STEM advanced degrees, SAVE, E-Verify and border security here.

Mitt Romney wasn’t the only speaker talking about immigration during the Convention – on Wednesday night, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We must continue to welcome the world’s most ambitious people to be a part of us.”

Throughout the week, ACIP’s Lynn Shotwell and Rebecca Peters were on the ground discussing this important message, along with other high-skilled, employment-based immigration solutions at numerous GOP 2012 events.  View photos of some of the events here.

In particular, ACIP had the opportunity to attend the SHRM-sponsored National Journal event titled “Compare the Candidates.” Immigration was a reoccurring theme in the discussion – in an interview between National Journal’s Major Garrett and Dr. Lanchee Chen, Policy Director for Mitt Romney, Chen made clear that should there be a Romney administration, the focus would be on long-term immigration reform off the bat. And while the Romney camp believes President Obama’s recent deferred action policy has put a chilling effect on the broader immigration debate through its focus on politics before policy, Dr. Chen believes “the public is hungry for an immigration solution,” one he believes the government must partner with employers to solve. Watch Lynn Shotwell’s readout afterwards here.

As we repeated throughout the Convention, ACIP stands ready to partner with the government on high-skilled, employment-based immigration solutions this year and with the new Congress in 2013, especially given the bipartisan support for more green cards for foreign-born advanced STEM degrees holders from U.S. universities.

Tune in next week to get ACIP’s immigration policy read out from the Democratic National Convention at: http://haveavoice.shrm.org/conventionhq and follow us on Twitter (@ACIPimmigration) for up to the minute news.

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