Friday, February 15, 2013

Immigration reform: Addressing labor needs

Addressing labor needs:
Barack Obama: He would eliminate the backlog for employment-sponsored immigration by eliminating annual country caps and adding more visas to the system. He would streamline visa and foreign visitor processing to bolster tourism. He would want to facilitate more efficient travel with the Visa Waivers Program. The State Department could waive interviews for low-risk visa applications and instead focus on high-risk applicants. He would offer a green card to foreign students who earn doctorate and master’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM). Employers would also pay a fee to help grow the next generation of American workers in STEM careers. He would create a “start-up visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs. They can become permanent citizens if their businesses continue to grow and create jobs for American workers. He would also create a new visa category for employees of national-security science and technology laboratories.
Gang of Eight: Offers green cards to STEM graduates but they also address temporary workers. This would allow more lower-skilled workers in the country when the economy demands it. They also want to create a program for the agricultural industry, which has had problems filling jobs with American workers.
General notes: Barack Obama is having a hard time leaving phrases from the campaign trail on the campaign trail. He talks about the start-up visa for someone who creates jobs. Doesn’t this run the risk of determining what the right ratio of growth and employment for American workers? Creating jobs is just another empty phrase. I don’t like that phrase. The Gang of Eight’s proposal here about creating a program for the agricultural industry is interesting, I wonder what’s involved with that.

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