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Monday, March 4, 2013

Lobbying on Immigration Reform

A number of posts have discussed immigration reform.  The topic draws in the interest group community -- especially Silicon Valley -- as the Center for Responsive Politics reports:
Seemingly everyone in Washington favors some kind of overhaul of the nation's immigration system these days, and proposals are being polished by President Obama, the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" and other lawmakers. But outside groups have been vigorously lobbying members of Congress on both sides of the immigration debate for some time.

The number of clients lobbying on immigration jumped in 2012, from 317 to 355, data shows. That's the highest level since 2008. Just as in 2011, the tech industry was the most active on this issue. Out of the top ten organizations filing the most lobbying reports that mentioned the issue, six were tech companies or trade groups. Their big concern has to do with wanting more visas for highly skilled workers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. While the national unemployment rate remains high, tech companies continually face problems in filling all of their available positions.