Immigration reform also took a prominent place in Donohue's remarks, with the Chamber president emphasizing the need for skilled workers to help stave off outsourcing. He advocated guest visas for lower-skilled workers and expanding the caps on high-skilled visas, as well as helping foreigners who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. to stay.

"Even with high unemployment, we have millions of job openings that go unfilled," he said. "Either the workers come here to fill those jobs or the companies take all of their jobs somewhere else."

President Obama has spoken of immigration reform as one of his priorities for his second term. Donohue said that he has spoken with senators, as well as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, about the potential for overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

"I have an optimistic feeling about this," said Donohue, pointing to bipartisan support for reform. But he acknowledged that support for immigration reform is not unanimous.


Legal Immigration
Illegal Immigration

Updated: Tue, Jan 15th 2013 @ 4:31pm EST