LATINO VOICES
11/28/2013 11:59 am ET

10 Business Leaders Who Support Immigration Reform

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has emerged as one of the strongest supporters of immigration reform. He recently referred to immigration reform as “one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time.” He champions for reform through FWD.us, a political advocacy group he co-founded in April. The group recently held a hakathon for Dreamers.

Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft Corp.

Bill Gates has said that to remain competitive in the global economy, the U.S. must not only invest more in education but also make it easier for foreign-born, high-skilled immigrants to work for U.S. companies. He joined Zuckerberg earlier this year to co-found FWD.us and advocate for immigration reform legislation that would bring in more high-tech workers.

Reid Hoffman, co-founder and CEO of LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman is another co-founder of FWD.us. He hosted the Dreamers hackathon in LinkedIn’s headquarters in California. He voiced his support for reform in an op-ed: “As history’s most successful start-up, the United States is a land of new beginnings, risk-taking and commitment to progress for all immigrants. Only comprehensive reform makes good on the promise inherent in our national identity.”

Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo

Marissa Mayer was one of executives who met with Obama in February as the president rallied support from the business community for immigration reform. A month later, she joined more than 100 business leaders to write a letter to Obama and members of Congress, calling on them to “address the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign, and to enact immigration reform this year.”

Michael Bloomberg, founder and owner of Bloomberg LP

Michael Bloomberg is a long-time supporter of immigration reform. In 2010, he helped form the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and CEOs pushing for immigration reform. Most recently, he said the U.S. needs “a modern immigration system that welcomes the entrepreneurs and the hard workers that will grow our nation’s economy and create jobs and keep us competitive on the world’s stage.”

Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thomas Donohue considers immigration reform “a deeply personal priority.” In April, he said the current immigration system is broken and is “not serving the interests of our economy, our businesses, our workers, or our collective security.” He backs immigration reform that secures the border, provides a temporary worker program, ties visas to market demands, makes E-Verify mandatory and paves a path to citizenship.

Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Greg Brown chairs the committee on immigration reform for the Business Roundtable, an association made up of some of the nation’s most powerful CEOs. After he and other business leaders met with Obama in early November, he stated that immigration reform “remains a top priority for the business community and will drive economic growth while simultaneously improving national security.”

Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.

Arne Sorenson recently come out in support of immigration reform. In an op-ed he wrote in August, he praised the Senate for passing the immigration reform bill and adviced the House to “not let this chance for meaningful and holistic immigration reform slip away.” Doing so, he said, would “maintain an unproductive status quo and deny countless U.S. companies — and their employees — a much-needed economic boost.”

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co.

Muhtar Kent explained why he thinks immigration reform is good for business in an op-ed he wrote in February. He insisted that “we need to make it easier for committed, highly skilled people to make their lives and livelihoods here.” He also highlighted the economic growth that immigrants generate in the U.S., noting that nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or their children.

Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc.

Doug Oberhelman recently emerged as an advocate of immigration reform. He voiced his support for reform earlier this year when he said, “Providing consistent, reliable access to both high-skilled and low-skilled talent is critical to sustain our nation’s global competitiveness in many industries including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, hospitality, and tourism.”

Originally published on VOXXI as Top 10 business leaders pushing for immigration reform

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