March 14, 2019
The Honorable Lloyd Smucker and Francis Rooney
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representatives Smucker and Rooney:
The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) applauds your efforts to introduce the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act (H.R. 1740). This bill, coming amidst efforts to develop solutions on immigration reform, shows that Congress is poised to act on this important issue as lawmakers consider how best to address our nation’s security and economic needs. The concept of providing for a legal vehicle to allow job creators to address chronic workforce shortages is long overdue.
EWIC believes that a key component of reforming our nation’s broken immigration system is creating a vehicle for foreign workers to enter the U.S. legally in accord with economic demand. We support policies that facilitate the employment of essential workers by U.S. companies and organizations. Current immigration law largely prevents the hiring of essential workers from abroad when demanded by the economy. EWIC supports reform of US immigration policy to facilitate a sustainable workforce for the American economy while ensuring our national security and prosperity.
The introduction of this legislation demonstrates a necessary commitment to a balanced U.S. immigration system that includes a workable system to ensure that legal foreign-born workers can enter on a temporary basis to work in the less-skilled sectors of the economy. This legislation creates a commonsense visa system that allows the U.S. government to ensure that workers and employers are utilizing the system as it was intended, that visa holders are complying with its rules, and that the program is operating in a way that helps U.S. workers and the economy.
For many years the discussion of immigration reform has, not surprisingly, focused on the issue of illegal immigration, however your legislation goes further and helps to uncover the underlying defects in the current U.S. immigration and visa system that act as a lure for illegal immigration.
Your efforts to draw attention to the complete lack of U.S. visa programs covering the year-round non-agricultural less-skilled sector, and the efforts you put forward in this legislation to craft a workable program are a critical component to reducing illegal immigration. By allowing employers who test the market to hire legal, visa holding workers for temporary work in pre-approved less-skilled sector jobs, your legislation creates an innovative system that can be piloted in select areas of the country with demonstrated low unemployment levels.
We believe that the concepts contained in H.R. 1740 have the potential to address critically and currently unmet needs in the debate on immigration and help break the policy logjam now inhibiting the development of consensus solutions needed to truly fix our immigration system. Thank you again for your work on this proposal designed to address the chronic workforce shortages in vital industry sectors and maximize the growth of the economy.
Essential Worker Immigration Coalition