US Chamber calls for doubling of H-1B and H-2B visa quotas

The new “America Works” initiative seeks to reform the legal immigration system to deal with the worker shortage crisis.

To address the labor shortage crisis in the United States, the United States Chamber of Commerce called for doubling the cap on employment-based visas and doubling the quota on H visas -1B and H-2B.

The proposal is part of a new national “America Works” initiative launched by the chamber earlier this month to “mobilize industry and government to quickly address the growing crisis of worker shortages in the United States. “.

It also calls for the implementation of further reforms of the legal immigration system to help employers meet the demand for high-demand jobs in labor-constrained sectors.

America Works’ agenda includes “a series of legislative and regulatory solutions at the federal and state levels that would remove barriers to work for Americans, invest in skills and job training, and reform the broken and outdated immigration system. from America”.

Read: USCIS to allow resubmission of certain H-1B petitions for fiscal 2021 (June 24, 2021)

In recent years, Indian tech professionals have obtained over 70% of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued each year, including 20,000 with masters degrees from US universities, for highly skilled foreign workers.

“As we stand on the cusp of what could be a great American resurgence, a labor shortage is holding back job creators across the country,” said Suzanne Clark, President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“Together, we can and must meet the challenges of our country’s workforce. When you lead the world in talent, you lead the world in solutions. With a highly skilled workforce, there is nothing that businesses cannot achieve and nothing that we as a nation cannot do.

Through the move, the US House has said it is “advocating – and mobilizing business to lobby – for federal and state policy changes that will help train more Americans for jobs. demand, remove barriers to work and double the number of visas available to legal immigrants.

Read: The H-2B ceiling reached for the second half of fiscal year 2021 (February 25, 2021)

The US Chamber Foundation is also expanding its most effective employer-led skills and workforce training programs and is launching new efforts to connect employers with unknown talent.

“This is Operation Warp Speed ​​for Jobs,” said Clark. “We are helping our members address the workforce shortage by bringing the full force of House advocacy to this urgent crisis, expanding the Foundation’s most successful workforce programs. Chamber and by mobilizing our national federation of associations and partner chambers to find solutions that make America more competitive.

Citing new surveys and analysis of federal data, the chamber noted that there are now half as many workers available for every job open across the country (1.4 workers available per opening) than there are. has had it on average over the past 20 years.

In several states and industries, especially hard-hit sectors like education and health services as well as professional and business services, there are currently fewer job seekers than the total number of open jobs, a- he declared.

Up to 91% of state and local chambers of commerce say labor shortages are holding back their economies. About 83 percent of industry association economists say employers in their industry are having more difficulty filling jobs than they were five years ago.

Read: USCIS to allow resubmission of some FY2021 H-1B petitions rejected or closed due to start date (June 23, 2021)

“The labor shortage is real and it is getting worse by the day,” Clark said. “American businesses of all sizes, in all industries, in all states are reporting unprecedented challenges in filling vacancies. The labor shortage is a national economic emergency, and it poses an imminent threat to our fragile recovery and America’s great resurgence.

“We need to equip workers with the skills they need, we need to break down the barriers that keep too many Americans on the sidelines, and we need to recruit the best from around the world to help fill high-demand jobs,” said Clark. .

“One solution or the other won’t do the job: only by addressing the three challenges will we be able to meet the challenges of our country’s workforce.”

The US Chamber Foundation is also “expanding employer-led skills and workforce training programs to help more companies develop the talent they need and help more workers better prepare for jobs. today and tomorrow.

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