Homeland security is a group effort, with agencies coordinating to protect America’s borders, transportation systems, infrastructure and citizens. Immigration enforcement is a critical component, as terrorists and other evil doers seek legitimate entry into the United States for illegitimate ends. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies uphold our immigration standards and laws, and we should be thankful to have such dedicated experts protecting the homeland.
In working to keep terrorists and other criminals out of the United States, however, we must ensure that our immigration laws facilitate the arrival of hard-working people seeking a better, freer life. To be sure, DHS’ mandate is to prevent terrorism and facilitate recovery after an incident. The challenge of reforming U.S. immigration laws rests largely with our representatives on the Hill, the U.S. Congress.
U.S. security depends not only on homeland efforts but also on the ability of this country’s citizens to prosper and create a vibrant economy. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Council on Foreign Relations that “every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy.”
The 21st century globalized economy means a company in Ohio competes with one in China or India, not only for market share and customers, but for high-skilled employees as well. Yet, U.S. immigration laws can make it difficult for some of the world’s brightest people to call America home. Congress must take up this important debate and spur change in how we bring talent, initiative and innovation from foreign shores to our own.
As a part of this ongoing dialogue about America’s immigration laws, on Wednesday, September 28, the National Chamber Foundation will host a half-day Business Horizon Series symposium, “Immigration & American Competitiveness: The Challenge Ahead.” Mayor Bloomberg will deliver the keynote address, and American business community leaders and public figures will discuss the economic imperative for reforming America’s high skilled immigration system.
- Robin Paulino, Senior Counsel, Global Migration, Microsoft;
- Elizabeth C. Dickson, Manager of Global Immigration Services, Ingersoll Rand Company;
- Pia Orrenius, Ph.D., Research Officer and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas;
- Stephen Fleming, Vice Provost & Executive Director, Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology;
- Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology, Director of Pituitary Tumor Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Center; and
- Moderator: Randy Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The program, which will also feature the release of a survey highlighting American businesses’ skilled labor needs, will begin at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 28. You can register in advance online to attend or watch the live feed on the U.S. Chamber website. Please join us for this important discussion as we seek answers and insight to the United States’ immigration challenges.