With the second session of the 113th Congress under way, there are encouraging signs that high-skilled immigration reform could find some traction in 2014. When the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June of last year, there were high hopes that this momentum would propel us toward enactment of the first major…
The U.S. technology industry has been the engine of growth for the U.S. economy. Growth has depended on the industry’s ability to continue its rapid technological advancement to continue to come up with “the next big thing.” The U.S. must remain the global center of innovation. In order for the U.S. to maintain its leading role, the industry must recruit the best and the brightest minds from around the world.
In order for U.S. companies to maintain their global competitiveness, the United States must continue to be the IQ magnet of the world. U.S. technology companies must have continued access to the highly skilled foreign nationals who currently make up the shortfall in science and engineering students in the U.S. This foreign talent complements, rather than competes with, the U.S. labor pool. Many of the highly skilled foreign nationals that U.S. companies wish to hire are already here doing research at U.S. universities yet, without a sufficient and timely visa supply, they have no choice but to return home. This irrational deportation of needed skills results in our universities having trained our own competition. Reforming arbitrary visa quotas and streamlining the employment-based green card process will free entrepreneurial companies to compete in the global talent marketplace. This will enable the hiring of those who have affirmatively shown their belief in the U.S. as the best place to utilize their skills while also showing their respect for the rule of law by submitting themselves to the legal immigration process.