Feedback: December 2014

by Elizabeth S. Chatham, Esq., Grant Dipman, Emb. Roberto Rodríguez Hernández

Question: As a business issue separate from social implications, how can immigration impact business or industry?

Liz Chatham

Elizabeth S. Chatham, Esq.

Elizabeth S. Chatham, Esq.
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
Sector: Law

The employment-based immigration changes are quite significant and impact American business by further facilitating the hiring and retention of highly skilled foreign talent. President Obama’s executive action directs U.S. immigration agencies to modernize our visa system, making optimal use of visas available under the law. More than 400,000 employment-based Green Card applicants currently stuck in quota backlogs will be allowed to file for their employment-based Green Card more quickly and thus obtain the ancillary benefits of a pending application.

Highly skilled employees, mostly from India, China and Mexico, will be allowed to port to new U.S. employers with more flexibility, while parole entry into the U.S. and expansion of guidelines for National Interest Waiver options for foreign entrepreneurs will encourage innovation and investment.

The electronic permanent residency program (PERM) will be modified to avoid backlogs and delays in adjudication, and clear government guidance for L-1B specialized knowledge visas will enable more reasonable adjudications for U.S. companies. Lastly, the length of time permitted for OPT (work authorization) for STEM graduates is anticipated to be expanded to include non-STEM fields.

Recently awarded Best Lawyers in America 2013 and 2014 for her work in immigration law, Elizabeth S. Chatham, Esq. has, over the course of her career, represented Fortune 100 and 500 high-technology companies, numerous small businesses, a variety of nonprofits and individuals on complex immigration matters. She has worked for the United Nations, is a former staff attorney with an immigrant rights organization, and spearheaded domestic violence projects for battered immigrants. A naturalized U.S. citizen, India-born Chatham also understands the immigration process from personal perspective.

Grant Dipman

Grant Dipman

Grant Dipman
General Manager
The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix
Sector: Hospitality

At the Ritz- Carlton Phoenix, we value diversity and truly believe in the benefits of a diverse workforce. One of the core values of our brand speaks to creating a work environment where diversity is valued. We encourage our employees to be involved in making decisions creating innovation within their areas. Our ladies and gentlemen represent different cultures, regions, ages, religions, and experiences. This diverse workforce brings people together with different backgrounds and beliefs, creating greater synergies and better ideas.

From a guest perspective, The Ritz-Carlton has grown rapidly internationally with properties located throughout the world and continued plans for expansion in the future. As the world becomes smaller and our company continues to expand internationally, it is important for us to understand and embrace guests from all different locations and cultures.

Grant Dipman has enjoyed a twenty-two-year career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, holding senior leadership roles at The Ritz-Carlton Hotels in cities across the country. He holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Georgia and has earned his CMP designation, recognizing those that have achieved the highest standard of professionalism in the meetings and conventions industry. He has won multiple industry honors, including the ISIS Esprit and the Special Events Magazine Gala Awards.

Emb. Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez

Emb. Roberto Rodríguez Hernández

Emb. Roberto Rodríguez Hernández
Consul General
Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix
Sector: Government

Forty percent of the companies included in Fortune 500 were founded by first- and second-generation immigrants, creating 10 million jobs. According to a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), 28 percent of the businesses established in 2011 are owned by immigrants, and employ 10 percent of U.S. workers. Mexicans make up 12 percent of the immigrants who own a small business. Around 570,000 businesses in the United States, more than 1 in 25, are owned by a Mexican immigrant, and together they generate more than $17 billion in revenue per year.

Mexico and the United States have long recognized the importance of building a prosperous border that thrives and contributes to the welfare of communities in both countries. Sharing the objective of promoting greater economic competitiveness and security, the two governments work together through an Executive Steering Committee (ESC) that regularly monitors and ensures the implementation of specific actions to facilitate the movement of goods and people in a safe, efficient, expeditious and lawful manner.

In his 37-year career in the Mexican Foreign Service, Consul General Rodriguez has had several appointments both overseas and at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was leader of the project “Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad” (MCAS, High Security Consular Identification Card), an official identification that provides the opportunity for Mexican citizens to open bank accounts in the U.S. He earned a law degree at the Autonomous University of Morelos and a master’s degree in Criminal Science at the University of Valle de Bravo.

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