Immigration Restrictions For Educated, Efficient Workers

From guest blogger, Santiago J. Valenzuela

If you thought that it was difficult for only unskilled labor to enter the United States legally, you were wrong.  Silicon Valley entrepreneurs want to bring in more foreign labor.
Marshman: Let's talk about immigration. Silicon Valley companies have been trying for years to get Congress to make it easier to bring in educated engineers and scientists to work here. Secretary Locke, what are the prospects for immigration reform in the next Congress, especially for the educated people the valley needs?
Locke: The various political forces on Capitol Hill, in the Congress, have tied this issue of skilled labor to comprehensive immigration reform, which makes it even more difficult. But clearly, there is a need. We've got to enable those skilled workers to come to the United States. We need to ensure that those who are being trained here and who get advanced degrees are able to stay. It's like we're almost evicting them out of the United States, even though we know that so many of the jobs created here in Silicon Valley and around the country have come from the incredible talent from the best and the brightest around the world. We need to capitalize on their strengths and their ability to help our country innovate and ultimately create more jobs. Now there are a lot of folks on Capitol Hill in the Congress and throughout America that say, "Well, jeez, you're just bringing people in and taking away jobs from our young people." But the reality is that we're not graduating enough students from our colleges and universities skilled in math and engineering, computer sciences, and the whole host of critical-thinking skills that our companies need right now. And it makes no sense for us to deprive our companies of the talent and the workers we need to be prosperous, to innovate, and to improve our quality of life -- not just in America, but around the world. Let's just hope that after the elections, people of both parties will come together and say, "We've got to solve this once and for all."
When business owners are not allowed to bring in the best and brightest from around the world, they will simply move their operations as necessary. Strict immigration laws don't just drive low-skilled jobs out of the country, but also high-tech, high-skilled jobs from which we all benefit.
True comprehensive immigration reform would recognize the right of all businesses to hire the best workers they can find, from meat-packers to computer programmers.

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