Immigrationvoice is a cosignatory of this letter and we are working with business leaders to push for these 3 bills
July 17, 2008
Dear Member of Congress:
As U.S. employers, education institutions, and trade associations representing the future of American
innovation, we are writing to urge your support for three bills that will make necessary incremental
adjustments to the employment-based (EB) green card system. The measures – H.R. 6039, H.R. 5921
and H.R. 5882 – enjoy bipartisan support and should be enacted without delay this year.
America’s scientific and technological leadership is at a crossroads. To remain the world leader in
innovation, U.S. employers must have access to much-needed and sought-after highly educated talent –
including scientists, researchers, teachers and medical professionals. Foreign-born professionals make
great contributions to the U.S. economy and create good, high-paying jobs for all Americans.
U.S. employers rely on EB green cards to keep foreign-born talent living, working and innovating in
America. Yet, despite the critical importance of these visas, Congress has failed to address the well
documented backlogs in the EB green card system that leave some foreign-born, highly educated
professionals waiting over six to 10 years to receive a permanent resident visa.
The three bills will address many shortcomings in the EB green card system. For example:
• H.R. 6039, by exempting highly educated, foreign-born students earning an advanced degree in
science, technology, engineering or mathematics from a U.S. university from the annual EB green
card limit, would help U.S. employers retain these talented individuals in the U.S. workforce. For
example, foreign nationals comprise half of the master’s and 70 percent of the Ph.D.s in electrical
engineering from U.S. universities.
• H.R. 5921 will help put an end to multi-year wait times by eliminating unduly restrictive per
country limits on EB green cards.
• H.R. 5882 will help to reduce visa backlogs by “recapturing” EB green cards from prior years
that went unused due to government processing delays and making them available immediately to
those who meet the requirements.
Without these incremental reforms, U.S. employers will continue to be crippled in the global competition
for the world’s best talent, as more and more extremely valuable professionals from around the world
take their education and abilities to competitors abroad.
While permanent reforms for the EB green card system will be critical to U.S. employers’ long-term
ability to hire and retain key worldwide talent, H.R. 6039, H.R. 5921 and H.R. 5882 are common sense,
incremental reforms that should be enacted this year. We again urge your support for these important