On Thursday the President unveiled his outline for an immigration proposal which focuses heavily on border security and favors visa programs to recruit high-skilled workers over other visa programs such as family reunification. Slides first made available by the White House to Republican lawmakers are available here. While the plan is widely considered to be unlikely to pass Congress given deep opposition from Congressional Democrats and some Republican lawmakers, ANCOR is sharing this news because of how it could affect our June 11 Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
As we have shared with our members on the ANCOR Connected Communities (ACC), on June 11 we will be hosting an advocacy fly-in to ask Congress to consider a visa proposal to address the Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce crisis, which is affecting the stability of supports for people with disabilities. While ANCOR continues to advance other workforce solutions such as rate-setting and professional classification, due to the shortage of U.S.-based workers we believe a visa proposal is part of a multi-faceted solution to the serious crisis. The President’s announcement will affect the climate on Capitol Hill in the lead up to our Hill Day – below is our read-out of challenges and opportunities that could arise in days to come.
Immigration is already a highly partisan and divisive issue, a climate likely to be exacerbated given the high-profile nature of the White House’s involvement and competing, Democratic-driven legislation for “Dreamers” that is due to be introduced in coming weeks.
The focus on high-skilled workers could deter some offices from considering DSPs, who do not fit the traditionally STEM-oriented profiles for high skilled workers despite the demanding nature of the work they perform.
With immigration now front of mind for Congress, our proposal might receive more timely attention than it would have when immigration was not as much in the headlines and prepared to engage on what should be included in bipartisan discussions.
Certain Congressional offices that had been wary of discussing immigration without being sure of the President’s agenda might feel more comfortable engaging on the issue now.
The President’s proposal references the need to immigrate for specialized professions and both parties have spoken about the need to address workforce shortages – this is our chance to take control of the discussions!
Want to learn more about the Hill Day and RSVP? If you are interested in engaging with Congress on the workforce issue and want to participate in our Hill Day, please RSVP here. Please email questions to [email protected].
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