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Lobbying Dollars Fly In Immigration Reform Debate

— Want to know where money talks in the world of immigration reform? According to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, the tech industry is behind much of the lobbying on the issue.

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Companies and organizations with a stake in immigration reform are making their case to legislators in Washington by way of their pocketbooks.

Microsoft, Intel Corp and Qualcomm are among the top ten groups that most frequently lobbied the federal government on immigration in 2012. These firms want to make it easier to attract global talent to work here.

Also in the top ten: the U.S. Travel Association and the parent company of Texas-based Hilton Worldwide — the high-end hotel chain. The travel industry wants to smooth out and speed up the process for foreigners to get visas to visit the U.S.

NumbersUSA, a nonprofit that wants to reduce immigration, is also among the top ten groups lobbying on the issue. The group spent $600,000 on anti-immigration lobbying last year.

Though not on the list, the private prison industry has spent tens of millions to lobby congress members and federal agencies involved in the immigration debate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Private prisons house a large number of illegal immigrants and others suspected of violating civil immigration laws.

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