Immigration and Immigration Reform with former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez

As you know, there is a lot going on in the press these days — with the IRS targeting conservatives, federal officials scandalously obtaining the phone records of AP journalists and the killing of four Americans by terrorists at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to name a few. Another key concern is immigration and immigration reform.


Joining me this week on PowerTalk to sort through the issues surrounding immigration is former Secretary of Commerce, under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, Carlos Gutierrez. Before he was the Secretary of Commerce, Gutierrez was the chairman of the board and CEO of the Kellogg Company (K).

As economist and PowerTalk friend Douglas Holtz-Eakin recently wrote, “Immigration reform resulting in net population growth and an increase in employment-based immigration would likely have wide-reaching economic benefits, and would provide a boost to the housing sector.” Companies poised to benefit include not only homebuilders like Toll Brothers (TOL) and D.R. Horton (DHI), the nation’s largest homebuilder, but also furniture, paint and appliance vendors like Ethan Allen Interiors (ETH), Sherwin Williams (SHW) and Whirlpool (WHR).

It’s not just housing that would benefit from a revamped immigration policy. Consider that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s (FB) co-founder and chief executive, pulled together an impressive roster of tech executives to advocate for immigration reform.


In the U.S. technology industry, there’s a dramatic shortfall in the number of Americans skilled in computer programming and engineering that is hampering business. According to data from the Society for Human Resource Management:

  • 65% of organizations hiring full-time employees say they are having difficulties recruiting for specific job openings.
  • Half of organizations said candidates do not have the right skills for the job, while 42% said candidates lacked the needed work experience.

As former Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez tells me, if we want to get the country back on a firm growth path, we need to revisit immigration. He would know. After all, in 2004, he was the person that Fortune Magazine dubbed “The Man That Fixed Kellogg.”

Listen now:

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Access prior PowerTalk interviews here:

Steve Forbes Focuses on the Economy, Taxes, Health Care and Obama

Susan Crawford, Author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age”

Paul Musselman, CEO of Carnegie Speech

Jim Nolan, EVP of InterDigital (IDCC)

Manish Chandra, Founder and CEO of Poshmark

Michael D. Brown, Customer Experience Expert

Debra Kaye, Partner at Lucule Consulting

Beth Solomon, President and CEO of NADCO

Bob Keheller Founder of The Employee Engagement Group


Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal

Currency Expert Bernard Lietaer

CEO of Accellion Yorgen Edholm

Founder and former CEO of Staples Tom Stemberg

Bestselling author Daniel Pink

dwinQ’s Patrick Sweeney

Cuttone & Company’s Keith Bliss

Visa’s Jason Alderman

GM’s Greg Martin

Consumer Electronic Association CEO Gary Shapiro

Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney

Mobile Payment expert Matt Jacobson

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