BILL REQ. #: S-0742.3
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2009 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/23/09. Referred to Committee on Economic Development, Trade & Innovation.
TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Worker training programs in the United States, from certificate programs to advanced college degrees, are not producing enough qualified domestic workers to meet the growing employer demand; and
WHEREAS, Domestic highly skilled workers in high-demand fields such as science, technology, and engineering, are currently unavailable at sufficient levels to meet employer demand; and
WHEREAS, As recently as 2007, sixty percent of Washington employers surveyed in all industries reported difficulty finding qualified workers; and
WHEREAS, The H-1B visa brings foreign highly skilled workers to the United States on a temporary basis; and
WHEREAS, H-1B visas are currently limited to sixty-five thousand new visas per year; and
WHEREAS, There are unmet demands to increase the highly skilled workforce in the United States, companies are choosing to create jobs outside the United States; and
WHEREAS, The Commission on Immigration Reform recommended in their 1995 report that United States employers be required to pay a substantial fee to demonstrate bona fide need for foreign workers; and
WHEREAS, The Commission on Immigration Reform also recommended in their 1995 report that fees paid by United States employers to demonstrate a need for foreign workers be invested in certified workforce and training initiatives to increase the competitiveness of United States workers and to satisfy the unmet need for a highly skilled workforce domestically; and
WHEREAS, The Washington State Legislature recognizes the need to help United States companies fill high-demand positions in the United States while simultaneously training more domestic workers for such highly skilled jobs;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate and House of Representatives actively support legislation:
(1) Increasing the number of available H-1B visas; and
(2) Mandating that companies hiring highly skilled workers through the H-1B visa program pay the sum of ten thousand dollars per foreign worker, to go toward training domestic workers for highly skilled jobs.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.