San Antonio Mayor Castro and Local Business Leaders Support Immigration Reform

By ANDREW MOORE
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Mayor Julián Castro at Zachry talking about immigration reform. Photo by Andrew Moore

Mayor Julián Castro at Zachry talking about immigration reform. Photo by Andrew Moore

Fresh off a trip to Washington, D.C. to tout immigration reform, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro met with local business leader to drum up support for current legislation pending before Congress.
On Tuesday, Mayor Castro joined President Obama and other government and business leaders at the White House to show support for the so-called “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.
On Friday morning, Mayor Castro joined Rackspace Chairman Graham Weston, and Zachry Holdings Executive Director of Public Policy A.J. Rodriguez at a press conference to urge Congress to pass the immigration legislation currently being considered.
The legislation has been led by a bipartisan group of senators called the “gang of eight” including Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Michael Bennet, D-Colo. and Bob Menedez, D-N.J.
The conference followed a discussion with San Antonio business leaders led by Mayor Castro at Zachry Holdings.
Rodriguez said the group came to a consensus and is “largely supportive of immigration reform.”
“We are honored to join the Mayor who has been a constant leader on immigration reform, in showing our company’s support for this issue,” Rodriguez said. “We believe that the U.S. economy will greatly benefit from an effective guest worker program, a clear expedited path to citizenship, and enhanced Visa opportunities for graduates.”
Mayor Castro urged Congress to support the legislation, which he saw as a historic opportunity to make much needed changes to the U.S. Immigration system.
“The legislation that is before the United States Senate, is the best chance that this country has had in a long time to fix its broken immigration system,” said Mayor Castro. “I’m confident that the business community throughout the United States, the business community in Texas, and our San Antonio business community sees the benefit of passing this legislation.”
The event’s three speakers supported several measures in the bill including increasing increase annual H1-B visas from 65,000 to 110,000, the increase of exempted advanced degree H1B visas from 20,000 to 25,000, and an increase in the ceiling of low tech visas for unskilled labor.
The group also supports increased border security and an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, though Mayor Castro thinks that the 13 year requirement is too long.
Speaking for the tech industry, Rackspace’s Weston said immigration reform is crucial to a growing tech economy in the U.S.
“Without immigration reform America is less competitive, and our businesses are less competitive,” Weston said. “This to me is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This comes down to whether America wants to have policies that support its business community.”
A national shortage of high tech employees exists in America’s high-tech industries, and immigration reform is needed so the high tech industry can fill these positions instead of outsourcing them, Weston said. Today, American companies outsource not because of cost reasons, but because of skill reasons, he said.
“Would we rather have a talented Indian move to America, work in our offices, and be part of this American team that exports to the world; or would we rather hire that person in India? It is much better for America for that talented person to move here,” Weston said.
But today, hiring any immigrant is a struggle for Rackspace Hosting. Every immigrant employee must go through a complex legal process and “lawyer up” with Rackspace to stay with the company. If Rackspace wants to buy a foreign company – and they are looking at several right now – they may be forced to leave that company overseas instead of bringing the new employees to the U.S. This result is less productive for both Rackspace and the American economy.
“To me, you cannot be pro business without being pro immigration reform,” Weston said.

Comments

  1. There is NO “skilled labor shortage”. This has been PROVEN by every FACT and an abundance of recent — unbiased — studies. Indeed every corporate meme from “1000s of open jobs” through “best and brightest” has been thoroughly disproven.

    In fact our nation has an abundance of citizens with all skills, education and intelligence for EVERY available jog– they just can’t get hired. There are nearly two million unemployed and underemployed engineers in this nation. US software are on trajectory to join the dodo bird even as 30-50% of all new IT jobs go to foreign workers on temporary visas. And unemployment among our nation’s scientists is truly dismal. The number of citizens with PhDs and Masters degree on food stamps has TRIPLED. And unemployment of our information science graduates exceeds those with degrees in sociology, archaeology and English.

    Adolf Hitler proved propaganda is effective. And, as fully demonstrated by this article, this nation’s corporation are intent on fully exploit every lessons. Indeed citizens need to directly ask why corporation that refuse their taxes and hiring of citizens should have any voice in our government — much less directly pervert the interests of our nation and citizens for their profit.

    If YOU are not actively writing your Senator and Congressmen RIGHT NOW, then you are a fool. NO ONE is protecting YOUR interests. And soon you’ll be training a foreign replacement and cleaning out your desk.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!! Do NOT sit on your hands.

  2. “The event’s three speakers supported several measures in the bill including increasing increase annual H1-B visas from 65,000 to 110,000, the increase of exempted advanced degree H1B visas from 20,000 to 25,000, and an increase in the ceiling of low tech visas for unskilled labor.”

    Hey, executive dudes…there’s a really good reason Indian/Pakistani software programmers come so cheap.

    It’s the same reason Indian drugs come so cheap-no one pays any money to make sure you actually have the real drugs. Do you think programmers who advertise their willingness to lowball you aren’t going to try to make that money back in fraud?

    Training, expertise, and research that’s in any way useful requires that you have people who are loyal to you, your workplace, and the country you live in, otherwise they’ll abuse your trust and your cash at the first opportunity, sending sensitive customer data and account information to their overseas family or business connections.

    H1-B programmers are a security risk, plain and simple. The hazy notion that there are pre-trained “experts” out there just waiting to pack up and move to a foreign country and unquestioningly follow your orders for money always ends badly in execution, and paradoxically makes your current employees, especially those who have to fix the damage, hate you much more. It’s no way to conduct business. If you wouldn’t take Ranbaxy drugs because lax regulations mean that you may well be ingesting powdered glass, how much less should you trust people who grew up in this anything-goes environment their whole life?

  3. Senate Bill 744 will destroy millions of American tech jobs:

    http://goanimate.com/user/0-VFCDPgmUWU

    Please watch and share.

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