Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., supports a path to legalization for immigrants who overstayed visas or came into the country without permission. At a press conference at the state Capitol timed to the report’s release, he noted that Connecticut’s foreign-born workers pay $5 billion in taxes each year.
“We are the beacon of opportunity and freedom,” he said. Immigrants are more likely to be working than native-born people between the ages of 25-64. “That’s the reason they came to this country in the first place,” he said.
Tens of thousands of these workers are here on temporary visas. According to the report, out of about 12,900 software developers in Connecticut, 58 percent, or 7,461, came from other countries. The large majority of those workers are on temporary work visas that are limited to six years, called H1-B visas.
The report said that Hartford is the top center of H1-B workers in the state, and that employers requested more than 20,000 of those visas in fiscal 2014. Some are rejected, when the country hits the visa cap. Universities and nonprofit hospitals associated with universities have unlimited ability to hire under this visa program, however.
Hartford Courant: “Advocates: Immigrants Contribute To Connecticut Economy“