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Immigration Reform in the USA; What is Really Needed

Posted on the 08 December 2013 by Barrysblogging

The strength of USA has been a direct result of the number of people who have emigrated here over the past century. The diversity this emigration has provided has enriched our country bringing with it a populace of artists, educators, scientists and blue collar workers which have made our country better for their presence.
Recently, Vivek Wadhwa, vice president of Innovation and Research at Singularity University and Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University had a commentary on the subject published in the Las Cruces Sun News. He stated the case for changes as succinctly and directly as could be done to result in maximal benefit to the USA and to the undocumented who have emigrated and live here. Therefore, I am quoting from his publication to assist in getting the word out. He suggests five elements to the reform:

“1. Enact the DREAM Act, to provide basic human rights — and citizenship — to the 1.8 million children whose undocumented parents brought them to this country to give them a better future. These children grew up as Americans, believing they were entitled to the same rights and freedoms as their friends. But, because they don’t have the proper paperwork, they are forced to live in the shadows of society with limits on where they can work and study and on what they can do.
2. A start-up visa would allow foreign entrepreneurs to set up shop in the United States, and boost innovation and create jobs. The Kauffman Foundation estimates that this visa could add 1.6 million jobs and boost the nation’s gross domestic product by as much as 1.6 percent within 10 years. Not only will immigrants who are stuck in “immigration limbo” take advantage of this, so will hot-shot entrepreneurs from all over the world.
3. Increase the number of permanent-resident visas for foreign doctors, scientists and

docs and nurses
engineers. More than 500,000 skilled workers — with 555,000 family members — are legally in the United States, waiting for visas that give them the freedom to change jobs and enjoy the same rights as other Americans. Waiting times for these visas often stretch into the decades. So these highly skilled immigrants are getting frustrated and returning home, as I documented in several research studies and wrote about in my book, “The Immigrant Exodus.” We are bleeding competitiveness.
4. Provide temporary work visas for unskilled workers in non-farm jobs, such as in hospitality, food processing, construction, cleaning and maintenance. According to Immigration Works USA’s president, Tamar Jacoby, every year from 2003 to 2009, more than 350,000 low-skilled foreigners came to the United States illegally to do this work. She says that the only way to prevent future illegal immigration is to create a legal way to meet the continuing demand. Employers should have to try to hire Americans first, but, if they don’t succeed, then could hire foreign workers quickly, easily and legally. And she says that the new program should grow in good economic times and shrink in bad times, when more U.S. citizens are out of work.
5. Expand the numbers of H-1B visas according to market demand; relax the conditions on those that tether the worker to the employer; and allow spouses of H-1B workers to work. Silicon Valley is starved for talent. It can’t hire graduates of the nation’s top
person typing
engineering programs because they happen to be born abroad. Yes, there are, as critics of the H-1B program claim, abuses of these visas by unscrupulous employers. But this is largely because the employee can’t easily change jobs while waiting for a permanent-resident visa. Relaxing the visa regulations will free up the market by allowing immigrants to work for employers who pay the best wages. And it is unconscionable that wives of H-1B workers – who tend to be as qualified as their husbands — are forced to stay home, in servitude.

The 885 page Schumer Immigration Reform Act passed by the Senate does not go far enough to solve these problems although it does address border security and other political hot button issues. Enactment of these above elements will go a long way to increase our competitiveness in the world markets, continue the competitive pricing of farm products, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and once again allow us to benefit from the wonderful diversity and take advantage of the young from Europe and Asia who have proven to be better educated than our own youth today. (The Purpose of Education; the Responsibility of Government, Unions, Teachers, Parents and Children ).

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