As President Barack Obama seeks to make immigration reform a cornerstone of his new administration, the Long Island Association, which works to support local businesses, has also spoken up.
In a letter to the chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committee, LIA president Kevin Law noted several areas of immigration reform that could "help drive the new innovation economy we are building on Long Island."
Among those include:
1. Providing green cards to entrepreneurs who help create jobs in the U.S.
2. Expanding the cap on H-1B visa, which are issued to highly skilled immigrants, and allowing the cap to adjust to market demand
3. Exempting advanced degree graduates from the green card cap
4. Increase visa opportunities for temporary seasonal workers, which benefit Long Island's East End
The New York metropolitan area, which includes Long Island, has the highest demand of H-1B visas in the country, according to a Brookings Institute report issued last summer. On Long Island, Stony Brook University and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset employ the most H-1B visa immigrants.
These skilled and high-tech employees will contribute to innovative research that could create jobs and make Long Island the U.S. more competitive on the international stage, Law said in the letter.