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The Need for Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States

Pearl Manandar

Posted on March 20, 2018 23:30

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We need legal immigration, but the current administration poses challenges.

Immigration reform has been knocking the doors of Capitol Hill, where the focus has been on the ongoing DACA deadline. Several bills have been discussed, particularly aiming at the high-skill worker who enters the country on an H1-B visa.

Although the unemployment rates seem to remain consistent, the debate is not over yet as to whether the country really needs the highly skilled workers who come here on temporary visas.

The President signed an executive order in 2017 calling the country to "buy American, hire American." This has empowered the government officials to take a closer look at these temporary visas which churn out thousands of aspirants year after year.

Most of this work force makes significant contributions in the field of science, engineering and technology. A study done by the National academy of sciences in 2016 states that an immigrant who comes to the country with a bachelor’s degree will pay $504,000 more in taxes. The technology industry will fail to prosper if we do not hire talented immigrants from abroad.

President Trump has called for cuts in legal immigration in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for the DACA recipients. He feels that these cuts would bring about a balance to the immigration influx.

However, the president fails to understand that this trade would not necessarily benefit the economic growth but hamper it in many ways. The highly skilled workforce add to the economy by creating additional jobs which increases the overall demand for services.

It is estimated that for every 100 highly skilled workers, up to 262 additional jobs are created. To foster growth of the American economy, the country needs and must welcome these highly skilled immigrants.

It is quite evident that the President’s focus is not only on illegal immigration. The presidential campaign rhetoric may have revolved around protecting American workers, but not many realize that behind the scenes he has also created that urge to cut legal immigrant aspirants drastically.

It would be no surprise that politics will also interfere in the other visa categories that bring in temporary exchange workers to the United States. Republicans Senator Purdue and Senator Cotton have vouched for the RAISE act, which is a point-based system that would cut legal immigration.

Republicans, Democrats and the policymakers in the boardrooms on Capitol Hill should realize the country’s prosperity lies in the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial talent of these highly skilled workers.

All parties should work on eliminating the archaic laws that bind the current immigration system. They must value and prioritize the unique skills sets these workers bring to the country. Smart policy making on immigration is the need of the hour, one that will welcome talented individuals to compete in this challenging economy.

Pearl Manandar

Posted on March 20, 2018 23:30

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Source: Politico

Ted Cruz on Wednesday admitted changing his immigration stance regarding high-skilled workers, calling it a "rational" shift....

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