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Vote on immigration reform could impact economies of Oklahoma and the U.S.

Jasmine Majid, an Oklahoma immigration attorney with Phillips Murrah, believes comprehensive immigration reform is good for Oklahoma.
by Paula Burkes Published: June 6, 2013

Q&A with Jasmine Majid

Immigration reform will have a national, local economic impact

Q: On June 10, the Senate intends to put a comprehensive immigration reform bill on the floor for a vote. What are the key economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform?

A: The current Senate bill provides for the modernization and streamlining of administrative processes for adjudicating immigration visas; establishing a path to legalization and allowing work authorization for dependents of H-1B visa holders. Oklahomans will benefit by having more workers participate in the tax base without increasing individual taxes, and additional workers will result in increased buying power and increased demand for goods and services. By providing a path for legal citizenship, we can cut down on the exploitation of workers and human trafficking.

Q: How will immigration reform ease corporations' administrative burden of verifying workers' employment eligibility?

A: The proposed legislation mandates the E-Verify computerized system for verifying employment within four years, which will provide a more reliable, predictable system for employers and reduce the current liability an employer faces for possibly hiring unauthorized workers.

Q: How will Oklahoma's energy and high-tech industries benefit from immigration reform?

A: To compete in a global market, thriving Oklahoma businesses must be able to hire the best and brightest talent worldwide. The U.S. government limits the number of H-1B visas issued each year, resulting in limits on the number of available high-tech and highly-skilled workers. A provision of the Senate bill allows for the number of available H-1B visas to increase, based on market conditions with incremental market-based increases each year.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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