March 29, 2007 , Manchester, NH— Manchester Attorneys Kermit Zerr and Ron Abramson, members of the Immigration Law Practice Group of McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton, traveled to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 15, 2007, to meet with New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation to discuss immigration reform. Zerr and Abramson held meetings with all four New Hampshire Congressional Offices.
Zerr, Chairman of the Immigration Law Practice Group, pressed for reforms on behalf of business and industry, emphasizing that New Hampshire businesses must be able to hire competent foreign workers when qualified U.S. citizens are unavailable.
“The current numerical limits on both highly skilled H-1B workers and H-2A/B seasonal workers, as well as the absence of a realistic program for longer-term semi-skilled workers, is putting American business at a competitive disadvantage. The numerical limits are reached earlier each year, which makes them unpredictable and inconsistent. Employers need to be able to hire the right person for a position, no matter when in the course of a year their need arises.”
Zerr further observed that despite having a highly educated and professional workforce in our region, the low unemployment rate results in many New Hampshire employers needing an additional avenue to attract top talent. “Given the choice, New Hampshire businesses always opt for hiring locally. It’s only when they cannot staff key positions that they turn to a broader applicant pool,” Zerr commented.
Abramson focused on the need for reforming family–related immigration law. Using recent raids of a New Bedford, Massachusetts leather manufacturing plant as an example, Abramson called for “immigration laws that represent our longstanding commitment to family values.” The New Bedford raid separated scores of children who are U.S. citizens from their parents, causing the state of Massachusetts to intercede on their behalf. Abramson explained to New Hampshire Congressional staffers that the current system actually encourages illegal immigration because family members have to wait much too long – anywhere from 4 to over 20 years – to be together legally. Abramson also brought to light the fact that reasonable immigration policy will allow our government’s enforcement efforts to target criminals, improving national security in the process.
“Contrary to what many claim, immigration reform will make us all safer by allowing authorities to focus on those people who truly present a threat. The sooner Congress enacts immigration reform, the sooner we will all see positive change,” Abramson added.
About the McLane Law Firm
Founded in 1919, the McLane Law Firm is the largest full-service law firm in the state of New Hampshire, with offices in Manchester, Concord and Portsmouth. Driven by the firm’s depth of sophisticated legal expertise and an unwavering commitment to client service, McLane has built collaborative and lasting relationships with a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients.