Intel says it is encouraged by legislative changes in the works.
Several proposals to expand the available number of visas are working their way through Congress. These include a bipartisan measure sponsored in part by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
The lawmaker is also part of the "Gang of Eight" working on comprehensive immigration reform, which both parties view as a priority for capturing support from Hispanics, whose influence politically is growing.
Politicians also are weighing the impact on business and how attracting the best workers helps innovation, product development and productivity.
"Immigration reform is critical issue for Intel," said company spokeswoman, Lisa Malloy. "In the last year, we have seen growing bipartisan support for high-skilled, employment-based visa reform. This is very encouraging to Intel."
Another "Gang of Eight" member, Sen. John McCain has changed his views on immigration over the years. For instance, the Arizona Republican first supported and later opposed a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
He is also the fourth-highest recipient of campaign donations from Corrections Corporation of America.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Kentucky Republicans, are other notable recipients of that company's campaign donations, according to Center for Responsive Politics data.
"The private prison industry is responsible for 16% of federal prisoners in the U.S. and makes a substantial portion of its profits from detention centers for illegal immigrants," the group said.
"Illegal immigration creates a pool of potential prisoners and there's some incentive to them wanting to have input on those policies," Gans said.
In one case last year, lobbyists representing CCA were paid $60,000 to monitor "issues pertaining to the construction and management of private prisons and detention facilities," according a federal lobbying disclosure report.
Corrections Corporation of America spent $970,000 last year to lobby Congress and the U.S. Marshals Service on a variety of issues.
It says it supports a bipartisan group of lawmakers who support or are "open minded to the merits of public-private partnership and the related services we provide."
The company says its lobbying effort has been aimed at ensuring it understands reforms related to new civil detention facilities being pursued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Not a single firm hired by CCA lobbies on our behalf for or against immigration enforcement or detention policies. Every firm we engage with is contractually bound to adhering to this strict policy. The primary focus of our lobbying efforts is education on the merits and benefits of public-private partnership in corrections and detention generally, and the relevant services CCA provides," said company spokesman Steven Owen.
Construction, agricultural, leisure and hospitality were among other industries also lobbying Congress and federal agencies heavily last year on such issues as changing the nation's guest worker program.
Whether spending on immigration lobbying will have any impact remains to be seen, policy and lobbying experts say.
"Lobbying on immigration reform is like lobbying on any complicated legislation in DC: messy and unpredictable. Just as with tax reform and health care reform, every affected constituency in the immigration debate is pushing their own agenda," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a veteran immigration attorney.
"Sometimes the stars align and a bill gets passed," Yale-Loehr said. "Often, however, the effort fails, despite or because of everyone's efforts."