Proposal to Deport H-1B Visa Holders Seeking Permanent Residency Stopped by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Kevin Yoder’s Bipartisan Push

Washington, DC—On January 5, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard(D), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and Rep. Kevin Yoder(R), a member of the Caucus, sent a letter to President Trump urging his Administration to reject a proposal to deport H-1B holders awaiting permanent residency processing. Soon after, along with mounting pressure from business, technology, and government leaders, the Trump Administration has reportedly backed off from the counterproductive proposal. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), and Kevin Yoder (KS-03), today released the following statement.

The United States grants 85,000 H-1B visas every year to highly skilled applicants, including roughly 70 percent for Indians, seeking employment and educational opportunities. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of privately-held companies worth $1 billion or more in the United States had at least one immigrant founder – with many having come to America on an H-1B visa, including the CEOs of both Microsoft and Google.

“H-1B visa holders, many of whom become small business owners and job creators, drive innovation and help build and strengthen our U.S. economy,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. “The Trump Administration’s decision to back off this counterproductive proposal is a positive step forward.  While it remains a priority to invest in training and create a pipeline of skilled American workers, we must continue to leverage the talent and expertise of the hundreds of thousands of H-1B visa holders to fill the gaps in our domestic workforce.”

“I have seen personally how high-skilled immigrants have helped my community and so many others across the country by filling critical labor shortages in specific industries, preventing employers from fleeing overseas to fill them,” said Congressman Kevin Yoder, member of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.“Plus, many of these immigrants hope to eventually start their own businesses and create new jobs here in the United States. These are the people who have helped America grow and thrive as a nation of immigrants and we need to make sure our system continues to value those who are following our laws and doing the right thing.”

Alok Madasani, an H1B visa holder and survivor of last year’s shooting in Olathe, Kansas, said, “America has provided me and many hundreds of thousands of folks on H1-B an opportunity to further our careers after education. America also taught us that if you are determined and hard working and follow the established process, there are opportunities for everyone. There are folks who moved here decades ago and have kids going to school here, the place they call home. Every process can be improved continuously for maximum output and current H-1B process can also be improved but eliminating it on a whole affects much larger audience. I’m grateful the administration has reconsidered these changes to H-1B extensions for folks with pending green card applications and I appreciate Representatives Yoder and Gabbard’s efforts to help us and our families continue staying together here in USA and continue contributing to the society.”

 

Background:

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard cosponsored H.R. 392, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, introduced by Congressman Yoder. This bipartisan legislation would remove the existing per-country cap on employment-based green cards and ensure all immigrants are treated equally regardless of their country of origin.

Understanding H-1B Visas
by Todd Sumlin tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Among those applying to use the visa workers are companies that have been awarded millions of dollars in state grants under agreements to create jobs in Charlotte and elsewhere.

Indeed, the tech industry and some lawmakers were stunned last week to learn the administration was considering a measure that would prevent hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H-1B visas while their green card applications were pending. The possible change, part of President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative promised during the 2016 campaign, would reinterpret discretion given to the administration under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act.

Reps. Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, and Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, sent a letter to Trump, obtained by McClatchy, urging him “not to deport H-1B holders awaiting permanent residency processing.”

“We strongly believe this action would be harmful to the American economy, credibility, and relations with India and the Indian-American community,” wrote Yoder and Gabbard on Friday. Both are members of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned it would be “tremendously bad policy” to tell highly skilled people they are not welcome to stay in the United States.

And the Indian tech industry, backed up by the Indian government, quickly began to mobilize. Groups that represent Indian companies and workers — such as the National Association of Software and Services Companies, Immigration Voice and Compete America — started deploying lobbyists and other representatives at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to argue against possible regulatory changes that could prevent foreign tech industry workers from keeping their visas longer than six years, according to U.S. and India-based industry sources and worker advocates familiar with the plans.

“Nobody’s happy with it,” said an industry source. “Everyone’s trying to figure out exactly what’s going on and also trying to explain to the administration, if they’re thinking of doing this, it’s a horrible idea and these are the reasons why.”

Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and L. Francis Cissna, the director of the USCIS, have long worked to clamp down on the program. Before the White House, Miller worked for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama who during the 2016 campaign raised the idea of ending the H-1B program. (Sessions is now Trump’s attorney general.)
Read more @ http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/article81625232.html

 

Two More Members of Congress Sign On to Tulsi Gabbard’s #OffFossilFuels Act!

From #TeamTulsi
Tulsi Gabbard is leading the charge for transitioning the United States away from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2035, as natural disasters and careless exploitation of our environment continue to leave thousands of Americans without homes, food, and clean water. 

In the wake of catastrophic hurricanes, massive wildfires, and the increase of man-made disasters, the push to implement the congresswoman’s groundbreaking legislation, H.R. 3671, the OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act continues to gain widespread support. Joining the bill’s list of cosponsors this week are Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Zoe Lofgren.

Along with a growing list of over 300 national, state, and local groups who are calling for Congress to pass the bill, the OFF Act is also rallying support from Food & Water WatchProgressive Democrats of AmericaNational Nurses UnitedOur RevolutionPhysicians for Social ResponsibilityFriends of the Earth, and Center for Biological Diversity. As more and more Americans suffer the consequences of destructive environmental crises brought on by greedy fossil fuel companies, it has never been more obvious than now more than ever, our planet needs healing.

 

Since she was a teenager, Tulsi Gabbard has been passionate about surfing, environmental education, and protecting our oceans and natural resources. She has been a strong advocate for reformative legislation that puts the planet first (not profits!) and has a history of standing up to fight for real change. Joining her fellow veterans in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline last December, Gabbard has consistently warned of the enormous dangers fossil fuel companies have imposed on the citizens of our country.

If we want to protect our wildlife and stop the destruction of our ecosystems, we must demand that Congress pass Tulsi Gabbard’s OFF Fossil Fuels for A Better Future Act to prevent the continued use of our environment as a dumping ground. In light of a recent 672,000 gallon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last week that is the worst of its kind since the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010 when 4.9 million barrels contaminated beaches, wetlands, and estuaries and killed eleven people were killed, the congresswoman had this to say:

“If we are going to preserve our planet for ourselves and future generations, we need to move off of fossil fuels to sustainable energy. We can achieve this by passing the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (HR 3671), which puts our country on a path to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035. By making renewable energy a top priority, we can add millions of new US jobs and secure a brighter future for our people and planet.”

 

Join our citizen based Facebook group to promote the #OffFossilFuels for a better future! 

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Leads the OFF Act to End America’s Reliance on Fossil Fuels and Transition the Country to a Clean Energy Economy by 2035

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) recently introduced H.R. 3671, the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), which will put the United States on a pathway to replace fossil fuels with 100 percent clean energy generation and use by 2035. This legislation eliminates tax giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, and provides support to transitioning workers who will be impacted by this generational change.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s bill builds on progress made in Hawai‘i and other states that have committed to address the climate change crisis head on and do everything possible to transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy. The OFF Act continues this progress and sets an ambitious timeline to cut carbon emissions by ending America’s reliance on fossil fuels by 2035 in order to avert some of the most devastating impacts of climate change. Transitioning to clean energy will stimulate our economy, support our working men and women, and protect our environment.  It will increase our competitiveness by investing in clean energy technologies, jobs, and training programs. Additionally, it will improve the health and well-being of the American people and our planet from toxic pollutants, asthma and respiratory illnesses, and environmental degradation.

Congresswoman Gabbard’s OFF Act is currently supported by environmental advocates and original co-sponsors including Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), and Keith Ellison (MN-05) and has been endorsed by over 100 clean energy, climate change, and environmental justice organizations.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Stated:

“Through extreme weather events, dramatically rising sea levels, negative impacts on our environment, and record high temperatures, we continue to see the devastating consequences of climate change. My home state of Hawai‘i has experienced this directly through record-breaking sea levels, high surf that has eroded land beneath homes and made roads impassable, and rising ocean temperatures that have dramatically altered marine life and destroyed our coral reefs. Hawai‘i has led by example as the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent clean energy goal.  It’s long past time for the federal government to take action for the sake of our people, our planet, and our future.

“All across the country, industrial cities, coastal communities, and urban neighborhoods have been most impacted by the negative effects of years of pollution, stagnating wages, and unemployment. These communities are being hardest hit by increases in illness and disease, economic hardship, and food shortages. Twenty-first century problems demand twenty-first century solutions. By investing in green technologies and ending corporate hand outs to the fossil fuel industry, we can grow the economy, create good jobs, and protect our environment. The promise of a clean energy economy is one of skilled, good-paying jobs, advanced and sustainable infrastructure, and clean and safe neighborhoods.

“The transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy will not be easy. We must work together to address the challenges we face by listening to people in all sectors of the economy to build the path forward that will help our country end our dependence on fossil fuels and build a bridge to a clean energy future. It will take a commitment from both the public and private sector to work with energy companies, utilities, and transportation and industrial businesses to deploy the energy technologies that will transform our existing energy infrastructure today, while developing cutting edge solutions in the decades leading up to 2035. If the federal government does not act now and bring people together to solve this challenge, we will fail to protect future generations of Americans from the devastating economic and environmental consequences of climate change.

“We must do all we can to end our addiction to fossil fuels and deploy the technologies that will put America on the path toward a clean, sustainable energy future today and in the years to come. I call on my fellow lawmakers, and all Americans, to support the OFF Act to protect the people and our planet by committing to a 100 percent clean energy economy.”

Continue Reading

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Send Federal Aid to Hurricane Victims, and Ensure the Government Remains Open

Yesterday Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted for H.R. 601, which provides over $15 billion in emergency federal aid to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and other extreme weather events throughout the country. This funding ensures FEMA can provide immediate emergency response and relief as well as longer-term recovery efforts. The bill also extends the federal debt limit and ensures that the government remains open and able to deliver services until December 8, 2017.

“National tragedies like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma test our country’s resolve. With today’s funding bill, Congress came together, putting the American people before partisanship and politics, to support the emergency response and recovery efforts serving the people most affected by these disasters. Since Hurricane Harvey hit, we have seen the aloha spirit coming from people all across the country who have turned out to support those struggling in the wake of this disaster. We are reminded that when one part of the country faces adversity, our nation comes together and perseveres. In the last week, we have witnessed compassion from neighbors, bravery from first responders, and responsiveness from public institutions. As communities in Texas and Louisiana begin the process of recovery and renewal, the entire country sends its thoughts, prayers, and support to the people of the Caribbean and Florida who are dealing with Hurricane Irma,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

 

[Video] : XIUHTEZCATL MARTINEZ – TAKING ON CLIMATE CHANGE WITH “WE RISE”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, author of “We Rise,” describes what motivated him to begin his career as a climate activist at the age of six.

On Feb. 5 2018, the Earth Guardians federal lawsuit goes to trial

JULIANA v. U.S. CLIMATE LAWSUIT

“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –

– U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

Youth filed their constitutional climate lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 2015. Other plaintiffs in the case include world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter, and Earth Guardians, as an organizational plaintiff.

Their complaint asserts that, through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

The fossil fuel industry initially intervened in the case as defendants, joining the U.S. government in trying to have the case dismissed. On April 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin recommended the denial of their motions to dismiss, and U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken upheld Judge Coffin’s recommendation, with the issuance of an historic November 10, 2016 opinion and order that denied the motions. When the defendants sought an interlocutory appeal of that order, Judge  Aiken denied the Trump administration’s motions on June 8, 2017.

On June 28, 2017, Judge Coffin issued an order releasing the fossil fuel industry defendants from the case, and setting a trial date for February 5, 2018 before Judge Aiken at the U.S. District Court of Oregon in Eugene. Youth plaintiffs, now age 10 to 21, and their attorneys are now preparing for trial!

On July 28, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requested attorneys for youth plaintiffs submit a response to the government’s petition for “writ of mandamus” and invited the District Court to respond as well. The District Court responded via letter on August 25th, and the youth plaintiffs filed their answer on August 28th. Further, eight amicus briefs were filed with the Ninth Circuit in support of the youth plaintiffs. The US government defendants now have until September 11th to reply before the Ninth Circuit will issue its ruling on whether the case can proceed to trial.

Read More at https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/us/federal-lawsuit/

 
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