Business Leaders Who Support Immigration Reform & Why they Do

by Derek Whitney

No matter what the technology or which side of the political aisle, most business leaders as well as politicians seem to agree on one thing. The U.S. immigration system is a mess and needs fixing. How to fix it is another matter. It cannot be ignored, however, that there are millions of undocumented foreign nationals in the United States. They cannot all be located and deported, even if that is the aim. Many of them know the United States as home and would become stateless if they were removed.

As the immigration problem becomes more and more frustrating, more and more American business leaders are voicing their concerns and speaking up for system reform. Here are some of the most vocal.

Microsoft’s Plan

In a speech before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, Microsoft head Bill Gates offered a four-part plan to make sure that the United States does not lose status as the "world's innovation leader." Part of the plan included opening up H-lB visas, which allow skilled immigrants to work in America. He stressed that the country's competitive edge would decrease by excluding people who are "able and willing to help us complete." Gates also scolded the Congress for failing to pass high-skilled immigration reform.

Good for Business

The CEO of Coca Cola, Muhtar Kent, stresses the belief that immigration reform would be good for American business. What he calls "committed and highly skilled people" should be given easier opportunities, he believes, to make their livelihoods in the United States. He calls immigration an essential part of the country's growth plan. Immigration and visa reforms, cautions Kent, can bring in a new era of U.S. opportunity and vitality in the economics.

Facebook and Yahoo CEOs

Young billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called immigration reform "one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time." He has founded a reform advocacy group,, with other leaders of the Silicon Valley to promote competitiveness in a global economy. In Zuckerberg's opinion, immigration reform is truly important for the future of the country.

President and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, was one of many business leaders who met with President Obama early in 2013 to urge Congress to enact immigration reform quickly. Along with more than 100 business leaders, she also signed a letter to the president and Congress expressing the need for more highly skilled professionals to be allowed to enter the country.

Business and Politics Agree

Former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg is a long-time supporter of immigration reform. As mayor of a city that counted so heavily through the years on its immigrants, he says that fixing the broken immigration system is highly important to the future of the country. With the CEO of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch, Bloomberg has formed the Partnership for a New American Economy. This group of both CEOs and mayors will urge Congress to work for real reforms not in the future, but now.

Other business leaders met with President Obama during 2013 to urge immigration reform. For instance, Greg Brown, head of Motorola Solutions, is chairman of the committee on immigration reform for Business Roundtable, which lists some of the country's most powerful CEOs. He feels that reform is a "top priority for the business community." Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, agrees, adding that both "high-skilled and low-skilled talent is critical" to U.S. global competitiveness.

This post is provided by Shulman Law Group, New Jersey Immigration lawyer.

About The Author

Derek Whitney is a blogger for Shulman Law Group, an immigration firm located in northern New Jersey. Their practice focuses mainly on deportation and removal defense.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.