Federal Priorities for 2020-2021

To be truly competitive, Texas requires a federal immigration system that attracts global talent and investment and creates jobs in our state. That includes common-sense reforms that prioritize:

 

  • A permanent solution for Texas Dreamers and TPS holders that creates a pathway to legal status or citizenship. 

  • A federal solution leading to permanent legal status for qualified undocumented immigrants in the state who, together annually, contribute more than $1 billion in state and local taxes.

  • Passing the PATH Act (Professional Access to Health Workforce Integration Act), which streamlines licensing processes for internationally credentialed healthcare professionals to maximize their skills in the current labor shortage of healthcare workers

  • Passing the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which would recapture 40,000 unused green cards and give them to much-needed doctors and nurses currently in the green card backlog to help us respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

  • A Heartland Visa to help revitalize struggling cities and regions with an opt-in visa program that meets their unique workforce needs.

  • A comprehensive immigration package that provides for enough legal workers across the skills spectrum to meet employer needs. This package should:

    • Be contribution-based: Immigrants should be evaluated on how likely they are to succeed and integrate into America. 

    • Define contribution in comprehensive terms: Determining how likely an immigrant is to succeed should depend on factors like age, education, and skills. In addition, family relationships provide a support network that makes it more likely an immigrant succeeds. And bringing a diverse perspective from an underrepresented country is tangibly beneficial – studies show that diverse workplaces, for example, are more productive. All of these factors, among others, speak towards likely contribution and should be considered as such.

    • Prioritize economic need and growth: Immigrants have historically been an economic boon to the United States. A good system would prioritize those who meet current, proven economic needs, from agriculture to engineering to entrepreneurship. 

    • Be flexible: A system that responds to economic need must be able to change alongside economic conditions.  

    • Consider state input: Governors know their own needs best and should be given a voice in what kinds of immigrants would most uplift their communities. 

    • Give temporary immigrants a way to work towards permanent status: Immigrants who work and integrate successfully on a temporary visa should be given an expedited path to permanent status.

    • Provide a federal solution leading to permanent legal status for qualified undocumented immigrants: Undocumented immigrants who agree to pay back taxes, pass a criminal background test, and learn English should qualify to apply for permanent status and ultimately citizenship. 

TEG encourages all business organizations and associations to join with them and adopt the above in part or in whole as their own. 

For Reference:

2020 Immigration Priorities from TEG Members

Texas Association of Business

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

    • Support the efforts in Congress to extend this important program that has made it possible for over 800,000 individuals who live in the United States to pursue opportunities that might otherwise be closed to them. Texas has the second-largest population of DACA recipients in the United States.

Texas Business Leadership Council

  • Immigration reform that strengthens our economy 

  • Support reforms to our legal immigration system that provide for enough legal workers across the skills spectrum to meet employer needs. Any such solution must protect our national borders through new enforcement technology, while also creating a pathway to legal status or citizenship for the roughly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants in the state who contribute $1 billion in state and local taxes.

  • Establish a path to citizenship or legal status for Dreamers and undocumented adult workers currently living in the United States, to leverage their talent and to facilitate their complete integration as consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs.

  • Provide consistent, reliable access to the skilled talent we need to sustain our global competitiveness in industries including healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing, and hospitality and tourism. Provide a streamlined process to legal employment, ensuring we do not face the same challenges in the future.

  • Protect tuition equity and continue to offer in-state tuition to all Texas high school graduates who want to continue their education and contribute their talents to our vibrant Texas economy.

 

Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy

  • We support immigration reform that will enable us to grow our workforce and discourage misclassification of workers (falsely calling them independent contractors).

  • America must create a method for unauthorized immigrants to earn their legal status. It should require them to provide a positive ID, pass a criminal background check, promise to learn English, and agree to work only for employers that deduct and match taxes.

  • There can be no shortcuts to citizenship, back of the line provisions only.​

 

North Texas Commission

  • NTC supports sensible immigration reform to strengthen our region’s competitiveness and enhance the vibrancy of our local workforce and economy.

    • Importance of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to North Texas business

    • The need for additional H-1B Visas, STEM Visas, and the EB-5 Program

    • Healthcare management

    • Support the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program