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Business advocates lobby Congress for more guest workers, high-tech visas

With the push for a broad immigration bill now dead in Congress, business advocates are ramping up their calls for Republicans who run both chambers to at least consider updating the nation’s guest-worker programs to help boost the economy.

From overhauling the visa that allows in farmworkers to boosting the number of high-tech visas awarded each year, businesses are insisting the gridlock that has stalled the legalization debate for current illegal immigrants not derail their own needs, which they say are rising along with the economy.

“Tens of thousands of people will be turned away simply because we don’t have enough visas to meet the needs of our economy,” said John Feinblatt, the chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy, on a press-conference call last week as he begged for Congress to enhance the H-1B visa program, which allows foreigners with high-tech skills to take jobs in the U.S.

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