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US Corporate CEOs Call for Immigration Reform to Fill American Jobs

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While Democrats push for immigration reform, some Republicans oppose what they call "amnesty," while others support a new road to citizenship.

Outside the D.C. beltway, one group of Americans who strongly support immigration reform are CEOs of American corporations.

According to the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, but that doesn't count the millions of Americans who are "discouraged workers" who gave up looking for work or those who are "marginally attached" to the work force via part-time and temporary jobs. That total number is a staggering 13.1 percent.

However, Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, recently posted an article on his LinkedIn page in which he pushed for immigration reform to fill American jobs:

As unemployment inches downward, we also need a functioning immigration system that helps us staff positions that might otherwise go unfilled, especially in our seasonal resorts. Our sector is already one of the bright spots in the economy – we’ve seen 14 consecutive quarters of job growth. Just imagine how much brighter it would be with these changes.

Sorenson is not the only CEO pushing for more foreign workers to fill US positions.

Randall Stephenson, the chairman and CEO of AT&T, recently told TheHill.com that Congress should allow more visas for high-tech workers and create an improved visa process for temporary workers in US.

“I get a sense that there's momentum for doing something like this in Congress, and I hope [President Obama] just does encourage it and it’s a high priority for his administration,” said Stephenson.

The Business Roundtable, a group of 208 CEOs, headed by Stephenson, has also called for immigration reform to fill US jobs:

Congress should fix the broken immigration system to create a larger pool of visas for higher-skilled workers, enact a new visa system for lower-skilled workers, offer a path forward for undocumented workers already living in the United States, and allocate greater resources to strengthen enforcement and secure our borders. Done right, reform can increase our economic growth rate, reduce our deficit, and contribute significantly to America’s future.

Sources: The Business Roundtable, TheHill.com, LinkedIn, US Department of Labor

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