The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement in response to the release of the President's new proposal to allow more immigrations into the country based on merit:


"The President rightly understands that the nation's immigration policy must allow for more skilled workers, including those with construction skills, to legally join the workforce if our economy is to continue to expand. Considering that this proposal appears to, correctly, redefine the federal government's definition of skilled workers to include individuals who can perform construction services such as welders and electricians, this measure should provide needed relief to the construction workforce shortages that are already affecting construction schedules and costs. As important, measures like this have the potential to provide needed relief while the industry and public officials work to rebuild the once-robust domestic pipeline for recruiting and preparing young adults to enter high-paying construction careers.


"And while this measure does not tackle broader immigration challenges, such as addressing workers already in the country, it does continue the discussion about reforming our broken immigration system. In the meantime we look forward to working with Congress and the administration to make sure a final immigration measure helps meet the workforce needs of the construction industry and addresses broader immigration challenges."