Last month, the U.S. Senate passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill, a major step forward in fixing America's broken immigration system. The legislation aims to raise the cap on visas for high skilled workers and establish a new visa program for low skilled workers--allowing U.S. companies like Caterpillar to build a sustainable pipeline of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent that will help maintain our competitive advantage and lead us into the future.
Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman recently commended the U.S. Senate for their leadership and applauded the bipartisan cooperation that made the bill's passage possible.
"It is critical that we have an immigration system that reflects the needs of our modern economy," Oberhelman said. "The benefits of reform—a lower deficit, bolstered economic growth, a skilled workforce and a renewed commitment to the principles that built America—are clear. At each step of this process, the NAM and manufacturers will work with Congress to ensure that reform becomes a reality."
In part of our continued advocacy efforts, Governmental Affairs Manager Katie Hays recently joined other U.S. manufacturers for a federal immigration panel hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The panel, led by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary and Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chairman, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, discussed the critical next steps for the legislation.
"Comprehensive immigration reform must be accomplished in a common sense way," Hays said. "We need to act this year. We need to look at our system so it's more inviting for people to become a legalized worker here in the United States."
Click here to view a full recap of the panel discussion.
As this critical issue picks up speed in Washington, DC, we'll continue to keep you informed on how this will impact Caterpillar, our employees and our future competitiveness. Visit the Caterpillar Immigration site to learn more about comprehensive immigration reform and to reach out to your elected officials on this critical issue.