Mayor Michael Bloomberg is adding with some of the biggest names of the fashion world in his effort to enact immigration reform
Along with Bloomberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, and nine other industry bigwigs are pushing to end low allowances on visas and delays in processing, which ultimately lead to inconsistent work visas that raise costs for businesses. In an effort to save money, businesses have been moving production elsewhere, mainly overseas, at a reduced cost.
“New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and that means thousands of jobs for our City – not only for models and designers, but also for seamstresses, deliverymen, clothing manufacturers and caterers,” said Bloomberg. “But if international fashion companies face too many visa problems in America, they will simply move their billions in revenue and thousands of jobs to our competitors overseas. We need an immigration strategy that supports our businesses, instead of getting in their way.”
The fashion industry generates $9 billion in wages and $1.7 billion in tax revenues annually.
Fashion industry leaders want to increase work visas and stabilize the visa process. They believe this would provide an incentive to bring in new international talent.
“The fashion industry is central to New York City’s economy, and without a talented workforce, it cannot grow,” said Seth W. Pinsky, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “From designers to manufacturers, our fashion workforce hails from around the world. It is, therefore, critical for this industry and our economy that we make it possible for people from around the world to come and live and work in New York City.”