WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert will tell his experiences regarding immigration to a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday.
Gilbert will be one of seven testifying before the Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security subcommittee at a hearing titled " The Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform."
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in D.C. A Web cast of the hearing will be shown on the Judiciary Committee's Web site, at http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=3d9031b47812de2592c3baeba62beeb0
Congress is currently grappling the idea of high skills immigration. The number of job-based green cards issued is limited to 140,000 each year. The number of green cards issued per country is capped as well. That's led to waiting lists of potential immigrants from countries such as China and India.
Tech-industry lobbyists are pushing Congress to ease those caps for skilled immigrants.
The Judiciary subcommittee has also been holding hearings on the DREAM Act, which provides a way for young undocumented or illegal immigrants to qualify for citizenship.
As Mayor of Lewiston, Gilbert does have some experience seeing how immigration can reshape a community. Secondary immigrants from Somalia began settling in Lewiston in 2001. They now number almost 3,200 according to the 2010 census.
"I look forward to sharing Lewiston’s experiences as a city and the many contributions of our immigrant residents," Gilbert said in a written statement.
The hearing is broken into two panels. The first panel includes business and educational leaders, including speakers from NASDAQ and Microsoft.
The second panel is comprised of three mayors from around the country, including Gilbert and mayors from Uvalda, Ga. and Utica, N.Y. Gilbert was invited to testify by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY.