Thursday, June 21, 2012

How About Some Real Immigration Reform

Matthew Slaughter explains how the Democrats and President Obama are harming America's diversity and job growth through a little known provision of the ill-named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in today's WSJ. The act restricted H1-B hiring at any U.S. company that received government support from either TARP or new Federal Reserve credit facilities. Slaughter details the harm done to both foreign graduates and U.S. financial firms. More broadly, the lack of H-1B visas is harming this country's competitive position. The number of such visas is a paltry 85,000 per year. Frankly, I think we need to expand the program to more than one million per year, as I have discussed earlier.

The Democrats are actively the anti-immigrant party. Despite their alleged support for multiple versions of a DREAM act, they did not pass any such legislation when they controlled both houses of Congress. Further, they are absolutely hostile to legal immigration, as documented above. As I posted earlier, Chuck Schumer has led the charge to prevent companies from using H-1B visas to inshore information technology work that was previously performed in India. His hatred of Asians puzzles me (if you think I kid, read his comments at the link). Inshoring is defined as bringing foreign workers to the U.S. to perform work they were previously performing overseas. Inshoring helps the economy in multiple ways. First, it allows those firms to hire more American workers, because not every position will be insourced. Second, those foreigners will be spending money in this country. Third, they will be paying taxes in this country. To my last point, I have admitted that some of the current deficit is due to reduced tax revenue. More taxpayers would help, wouldn't it? Just one more reason to lay the jobless non-recovery at Obama's doorstep.

From Slaughter's article:
In the past decade, the share of doctoral-degree recipients in science and engineering from China and India who report definite plans to stay in America has been falling. A recent survey by Duke University researcher Vivek Wadwha found that 72% of Indian immigrants who returned to their home country said that opportunities to start their own businesses were "better" or "much better" there than in the U.S. For Chinese immigrant returnees, the figure was an alarming 81%.

We need to reverse this trend if we hope to overcome our jobs crisis, the depth of which is sobering. The 111 million private-sector jobs in America today are the same number there were 12 years ago. Leaders in Washington can keep fiddling with haphazard fiscal incentives or temporary proposals whose political rationale trumps economic ones. Or they can instead rebuild the foundation of new-business formation, innovation and investment that ultimately creates jobs. Opening U.S. doors much wider to skilled immigrants educated here should be a cornerstone of any pro-growth policy. It is a graduation gift that the Class of 2012 and all of America deserve.

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