Most business executives agree on immigration

The great majority of business executives are in full support of immigration reform in the United States, the results of the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey indicates.  Most of the participants in the survey agree that people with the correct set of skills in technology and science based industries should be placed on the road to gaining US citizenship on merit.

Eighty-eight percent of chief financial officers from over 500 companies in the United States are in favor of switching from the current lottery based immigration system. However, the consensus does fall sharply in terms of undocumented immigrants or those people not in possession of skills that would support high tech industries.

More than 80 percent of chief financial officers also believe that foreign-born undergraduate students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) should be given access to HI-B US visas.  Seventy-eight percent of the CFOs surveyed also said that STEM students should be given streamlined access to a green card.

However, the debate really begins when it comes to discussing low-skilled workers. These immigrants are judged to be equally important in the eyes of the farming and agricultural industries, with such workers also judged to be crucial to the manufacturing and construction industries, particularly in the Midwest.  The president and chief executive officer of South Carolina’s Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Bryan Derreberry, told ABC News that businesses in his state could not grow without serious and comprehensive immigration reform.