AILA Applauds Introduction of Rep. Lofgren’s High Skill Immigration Reform Bill

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
George Tzamaras / Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628 /

WASHINGTON, DC --The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) calls the introduction by U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) of a high skill immigration reform measure an important step towards addressing an urgent issue of national importance.

Rep. Lofgren's bill, the Immigration Driving Entrepreneurship in America (IDEA) Act of 2011 tackles many of the key issues faced by companies in need of highly skilled workers. The bill would allow U.S. companies to have access to, and retain, highly skilled foreign graduates from U.S. universities who studied in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The bill would also establish a new green card program for entrepreneurs who are able to secure venture capital funding or who establish a business that creates jobs for U.S. workers. One of the most important aspects of the bill are the provisions that address much needed relief for employment based green card backlogs.

"Highly skilled foreign workers complement the American workforce in many critical areas and help fuel the economy with innovations that bring job creation with it. Rep. Lofgren's deep understanding of these issues is evident as is her leadership in the immigration debate," said incoming AILA President, Eleanor Pelta.

"The IDEA Act attempts to strike a balance between our economy's need for highly skilled foreign workers and legitimate protections for the U.S. workforce. We remain committed to working with Congresswoman Lofgren and her colleagues to improve our immigration system.

"It is crucial for us to take a common sense approach to high skill visa reform by making sure these visas remain available for the legitimate needs of employers, both large and small, in order to keep up with our dynamic economy," concluded Pelta.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 11061560.