Washington — President Obama announced his administration’s executive action on immigration Thursday evening in a prime- time address. The President seeks to streamline employment-based immigration programs, including making it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain visas and for foreign students studying engineering or technology at US universities to participate in existing training programs after graduation.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a longtime supporter of skilled immigration reform that would ensure the industry’s access to needed foreign talent. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The President’s announced intention to take steps to streamline employment-based immigration is heartening, and we look forward to studying further details and implementation plans. However, a long-term fix for the broken skilled immigration system still requires legislative action by Congress.  We call on Congress to swiftly work on and enact immigration reform that includes resolving the chronic shortage of employment-based visas that hinder our ability to compete for global talent.

“Administrative changes on highly skilled immigration can potentially act as a tourniquet to attempt to stanch the loss of foreign talent to other countries.  However, we still need the surgery that only Congress can provide to achieve a real recovery.

“Every year that goes by without addressing the shortage of work visas, signifies another year of the U.S. economy having to forego the innovative job-creating benefits of having foreign-born talent put their skills to use here.  Continued inaction risks the U.S. falling further and further behind in the global competition for talent.”

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