Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Immigration Optimist

I have always found immigration policy to be a something of a Catch-22. If we open up immigration policy it is argued, with fair reason, that we open the flood gates for individuals we do not want walking the streets of our country. In today's terms this is a matter of homeland security and an obstacle for potential terrorist threats. Another aspect of this perspective argues that immigrants will rob hard working Americans of their jobs, undercutting the working class. Pragmatically, the current obsequious immigration gauntlet unnecessary. This article, really a blog, identifies many of the compromises and changes that can and should be made to contemporary immigration policy.

The suggestions in this article focus on the H1-B visa program, which allows for skilled workers to come to the US and work. However, only 65,000 of these visa's are granted annually. Proposed legislation recommends that we increase the annual number of H1-B visa grants to 115,000. A statistic given in the article states that, "(A Duke University study has found that 25% of American technology start-ups were founded by foreign-born entrepreneurs from 1995 to 2005; in addition, 26% of technology start-ups founded by immigrants had CEO’s, presidents, founders or lead researchers from India.)" Through H1-B visa's we can achieve increased economic efficiency and prosperity for all Americans, a point few people would rationally dispute.

This argument can then be shaped in an economic frame. There has been economic growth in many sectors directly correlated and attributed to individuals who immigrated to this country. As these numbers increase, the number of laborers needed to supply the demand of increased wealth and population must also increase. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of economic growth for all socioeconomic classes.

I understand the need for homeland security to protect our country from terrorist threats. However, this should not have a dramatic an effect on the immigration policy. Any immigrant, whether a factory worker or an executive, should be allowed a fair chance to come to this country. If they have proven to be a productive members of society in their home country, why not allow them a chance to contribute to ours.

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