“I hear from Chamber member companies– from advanced manufacturing to maritime to high tech – about the lack of talent to fill jobs in our region and how the broken immigration system doesn’t meet their needs. I also know that around the state other key industries, like agriculture, are facing a similar worker shortage. Immigration is a key component to the package of solutions to help address our regional talent gap, and the bottom line is that our economy will suffer if these young people lose their ability to work in this country.
“Here at home, immigrants play a significant role in our region’s economic vitality. Foreign-born workers currently make up 17.9 percent of all entrepreneurs in the state, and 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies based in our state were founded by immigrants or their children. These firms employ 425,000 people globally and bring in almost $250 billion in revenue each year. Eighteen percent of all businesses in Washington are owned by immigrants.
“Comprehensive immigration reform has long been a federal priority for the Seattle Metro Chamber. We will continue to work with our Congressional delegation, who united to show bipartisan support for continuing DACA protections, to advocate for policies that enable our members to grow a diverse, well-educated talent pool, and keep our economy and community vibrant and inclusive.”