ST. PAUL (March 28, 2014) — Immigration Reform organization, FWD.US, started by tech giants Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, and Bibles, Badges and Business hosted a press conference in support of immigration reform recently.
The event featured Kevin Paap, President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau; Rick Aguilar, President of Aguilar Productions; Reverend Herman Colon; Monti Moreno small business owner; and Bishop Lee A. Piché, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis in room 181 of the Minnesota State Office Building.
FWD.us is an organization started by key leaders in the tech community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy—including comprehensive immigration reform and education reform.
Speaker Boehner and other members of the House of Representatives have recently stated that they have a comprehensive immigration plan but it will likely not be addressed until next year.
We are calling on the Minnesota Federal Delegation to take up immigration reform. We know it is an election year, so let’s get it done now before the election instead of putting it off until next year.
Included in the proposed Republican principles is providing earned legal residency to undocumented immigrants and expansion of foreign worker programs, which would have an immediate positive impact on Minnesota’s economy.
In a 2013 model, Regional Economic Models Inc. produced state-level results of the impact of the current proposed immigration reform, stating the proposed increase in the availability of H-1B visas would result in an estimated 1,000 new higher-skilled workers in the state of Minnesota.
This would result in more than 3,800 new jobs in 2014, increasing to more than 7,100 jobs by 2020. The new jobs would generate $212 million in additional personal income in the state in 2014, increasing to more than $2.5 billion by 2045.
According to a study by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, in Minnesota alone, immigrants comprise seven percent of the state’s population but nine percent of the workforce. In six industry sectors and 17 occupations, both higher- and lower- skilled, immigrants comprise more than one quarter of the workforce. Immigration reform would allow those numbers to climb in Minnesota.