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What Manufacturers Want Out of an Immigration System

By NAM News Room

Generations of immigrants have enriched and strengthened manufacturing in the United States. That’s why the NAM has long focused on supporting an immigration system that offers opportunity for workers, support for businesses and certainty for our economic future.

Our priorities: The NAM is interested in immigration rules that prioritize national security and address workforce realities, while also dealing compassionately with the people seeking to come here for a better life.

  • That means establishing a safe and secure border, making reforms to the legal immigration system, offering opportunities to attract and keep talent in the U.S., addressing uncertainty in immigration status and clearing immigration backlogs so that new cases can be addressed efficiently. 

Our solutions: To accomplish these goals, the NAM has offered a series of solutions for national policymakers and other leaders, including:

  • Fund border security via consistent appropriations;
  • Increase employment-based immigration;
  • Reform nonimmigrant visas and temporary worker programs to reflect employer needs, including a fund to support domestic STEM education programs;
  • Provide a permanent and compassionate solution for people facing uncertainty, including Dreamers (people brought here as children); and
  • Reform asylum and refugee programs for a more orderly and humane system.

Making progress: Already, we’ve seen important success. Recently, after NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons pressed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the need to reduce the visa backlog to ensure the industry can get the workers it needs, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services announced that it is on track to disburse all available green cards this year.

  • “Addressing the green card backlog and providing green cards to hardworking and talented immigrants in the manufacturing workforce is an important step to address the current workforce crisis and support a stronger economy,” said Timmons.
  • “With the workforce crisis contributing to inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, we truly cannot afford to let more green cards go to waste and leave talented individuals who contribute to our economy on the sidelines.”

Learn more: The NAM recently released an updated version of its immigration policy roadmap “A Way Forward.” You can also check out “Competing to Win” —the NAM’s blueprint for policies that support manufacturing in America.

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