A lobbying group to push for reform.
Joe greene, the president of the group, joins us from san francisco.
I in my normal day job cover the white house.
This is all anybody is really talking about.
What are the executive actions the president is going to take going to look like?
First things first, you guys are in the room and you have been in the room for the better part of the last couple of weeks.
What would you like to see the president do come september?
First of all, on behalf of the team of "bloomberg west," i would like to register a formal complaint that you did not share your ice cream with us.
[laughter] next time.
Thank you for having me on.
Forward u.s. since the last year , advocating for legislation to fix our broken immigration system, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as well is making it easier for people to come here legally and work.
We continue to think the legislation is the only tone long-term solution -- long-term solution.
My understanding you are seeing discussion on providing relief for the undocumented as well as to help businesses.
I know these are private conversations.
I do know that you guys have been talking to folks at the white house.
You guys have been in the room for some of the consultations that are leading into what this executive action is going to look like.
Are you talking about specific things you think they can do?
Are you making sure they are aware?
The administration is very aware of what you guys are looking for and what you are advocating for.
Why are they talking to you now?
My understanding is that on the business side, there are a few kinds of things that they might be able to do.
In what we hear is possible, one thing is that there are 200,000 or so green cards that have gone unused.
That would have a big impact on those who are languishing in the green card line, sometimes as long as decades.
You have folks who are on hb-1 visas whose spouses cannot work.
The third thing is, we educate a lot of foreign students here and then unfortunately we kick them out of the country.
Being able to extend the period of time that people can have their quote occupational training after college, allowing them to work in the united states, to create economic value.
There's a lot of stuff there may that -- that may be able to be done.
You have dreamers who, like my friend who was too old for the cut off for daca.
You have people who are the parents of u.s. citizen children.
There's about 5 million parents of u.s. citizen children under the age of 18 who those parents are undocumented.
All we keep hearing about this earnings season from big tech is how they are cutting jobs.
If you look at microsoft, cisco, hewlett-packard -- why does the tech company then need more tech visas?
It's important not to think of the economy in a zero-sum way.
These jobs in tech, these engineering jobs, these are extremely high value, high productivity jobs.
Where the difference between someone who is truly great and just sort of ok is really huge.
If those jobs are not able to be hired here, they will hire them in vancouver, in england, in other places.
When companies are thinking about where they're going to grow, they need to be able to access talent.
We had this huge strategic advantage that people want to come here and we are culturally capable of absorbing them.
Does that mean all the people who are going to be laid off from these companies are not talented at all and people who come from other countries are the valued employees?
what i'm saying is that -- i can't speak to specific companies.
In my experience, having run tech companies myself, we are always looking for the most talented people.
We treat people the same, whether they are from the united states are not from the united states.
I can't speak to specific companies' layoffs,. this is why you see the vast majority of tech engineers that i talked to from the united states are very supportive of bringing in people from other countries because they want to work with the very best.
You guys walked into a hornet's nest when you engaged on this issue, no question about it read -- it.
If the question -- if the president takes action unilaterally, is there concern of the blowback against silicon valley against those who are opposed to that action?
Two, are you guys willing to provide some cover like you did during the senate process to some of the republicans in the senate, provide air cover or funding to help the white house as a rollout whatever they are about to roll out?
What we have done for the last year and a half that we will continue to do is continue to tell the stories of the people who are hurt by our broken immigration system and could be helped by it being fixed.
Those people ultimately in the long term can only be helped by legislation, but certainly what the president does might be able to provide shorter-term relief.
You will continue to see us through a variety of different channels online.
Continue to tell those stories, and say it is urgent and we cannot wait to fix our broken immigration system.
Will forward u.s. put some money behind this?
We are not a super pac, we are an issue advocacy group.
Will you be giving money to a super pac, perhaps?
I can't speak to that.
That is not what we have done in the past.
The idea i'm getting that -- at is that even if president obama does something, there is still midterms and 2016 presidential election.
You will need more support than the president.
I think we will keep pushing for legislation and it is very unfortunate that republicans in the house chose not to take this up this year after the senate passed a bipartisan bill.
I think after the midterms, there's a lot of republicans who have said, in 2015, that they want to take this up again.
We will continue to be there and provide resources to support the people that are champions of this issue and to tell the stories around this.
We did not take this on because it's easy.
We took it on because it's important.
Thank you very much, joe green from forward u.s. joining us from san francisco.
We will be back in a moment.
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