Immigration reform is a vital issue when it comes to technology firms operating in the state of Arizona, as they often need to rely on overseas workers to continue to function. The Phoenix Business Journal says that many of the Arizona Technology Council’s businesses look for talent on a global scale and give foreign workers H-1B US visas to allow them to work in the country.
H-1B US visas allow American firms to employ an overseas worker for up to six years, giving the worker plenty of time to try to get a green card and possibly full US citizenship; however, H-1B US visas are so highly sought-after that it can be difficult for employers to keep hiring overseas workers.
Arizona’s economy is being adversely affected by the objections of many Republicans to immigration reform. The CATO Institute issued a report in 2012 showing that the economy of the state was being hurt by the Legal Arizona Workers Act and that the costs associated with prosecuting undocumented immigrants often ended up being paid by the state.
Immigration reform is particularly crucial to Arizona because of the state’s proximity to Mexico. The state is home to senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, who were part of the Gang of Eight. This group of legislators created the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last year, only to stall in the House of Representatives.