The Bay Area Council on March 28 joined Leader Nancy Pelosi and other community leaders to call for comprehensive immigration reform this year. Executive Committee member and Hanson Bridgett Managing Partner Andrew Giacomini met privately with Leader Pelosi and other business and community leaders to discuss the current dynamics around securing reform during the current legislative session. Giacomini told Pelosi and  others there that he had come expecting to talk primarily about immigration reform as a business issue. But after hearing moving stories about the misery the current broken immigration system is causing many people, Giacomini said he was reminded that immigration reform is as much a human issue.

During a news conference following the meeting, Leader Pelosi talked specifically about HR 15, legislation that Democrats are seeking to bring to a vote in the House of Representatives. The bill includes provisions for border security goals that must be achieved in five years; creates a “registered provisional immigrant” program for undocumented immigrants that allows them to apply for citizenship in 13 years; increases the visa cap on H-1B visas for highly skilled workers in technical fields; establishes a new “W” visa for agricultural workers; and, establishes a phased-in E-verify employment eligibility verification program. The bill is similar to legislation in the Senate that includes many provisions the Bay Area Council supports.

Giacomini also spoke at the news conference and talked about the economic imperative for achieving comprehensive immigration reform to help maintain the Bay Area’s global innovation leadership. He spoke about the importance of removing existing barriers that make it too difficult for the smartest and most motivated people in the world to come to the US, invent here, start companies here, and contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity. To engage in the Council’s federal policy work, contact Senior Advisor George Broder.

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