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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Romney Supports Liberalizing Employment Immigration Rules

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.

Noticably absent from President Obama's speech and plan on promoting job growth was any mention of using immigration policy to help spur employment opportunities for Americans. The recent announcements of some modest changes in immigration policy to encourage entrepreneurship hardly fall in to the category of bold.

Mitch Romney takes the typical GOP extremist positions on dealing with illegal immigration, but discusses skilled worker immigration in a refreshingly Thomas Friedman-ish fashion. Here are excerpts from his campaign book on the subject (pages 126 and 127):


To ensure that America continues to lead the world in innovation and economicdynamism, a Romney administration would press for an immigration policy designed to maximize America's economic potential. The United States needs to attract and retain job creators from wherever they come.

Foreign-born residents with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at an especially high rate. While lawful immigrants comprise about 8 percent of the population, immigrants start 16 percent of our top-performing,high-technology companies, hold the position of CEO or lead engineer in 25 percent of high-tech firms, and produce over 25 percent of all patent applications filed from the United States. The presence o? hardworking, highly skilled immigrants in our free-enterprise system fosters a special dynamic that is recognized around the world. The net result of their successes is the creation of jobs here in America that would otherwise have been created elsewhere or, more likely, never created at all.

It makes little sense for the United States to turn away highly educatedimmigrants who seek to come here. It makes equally little sense to train talented foreign students in our universities but then fail to integrate them into our economy. Nearly 300,000 foreign students are enrolled in advanced degrees programs here, but the great majority will return home. We are casting away the fruits of our own investment. As has long been our American tradition, we should encourage the world's innovators, inventors, and pioneers to immigrate to the United States and we should encourage those we train to settle and create jobs here.

Raise Visa Caps for Highly Skilled Workers

As president, a first step that Mitt Romney will take along these lines is to raise the ceiling on the number of visas issued to holders of advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering who have job offers in those fields from U.S. companies.These workers would not displace unemployed Americans. Rather, they would fill high-skill job openings for which there is currently an acute shortage of labor.Even in this tough unemployment climate, as of this past spring nearly 1.25 million high-skill jobs remained unfilled

A skills gap of that magnitude suppresses the productivity of our businesses and slows the overall economy. Highly educated immigrants would help fill that gap and get our economy rolling again. Welcoming a wider pool of highly educated immigrants would lead to more start-ups, more innovation, and more jobs. Each of these workers would in turn be consumers in local economies,creating new demand for other American products and services. Thus, for every foreign worker employed in this way, new job opportunities also arise for those who are currently unemployed.

Retain Graduates of Our Universities

As president, Mitt Romney will also work to establish a policy that staples a green card to the diploma of every eligible student visa holder who graduates from one of our universities with an advanced degree in math, science, or engineering.These graduates are highly skilled, motivated, English-speaking, and integratedinto their American communities. Permanent residency would offer them the certainty required to start businesses and drive American innovation. As with thehighly skilled visa holders, these new Americans would generate economic ripples that redounded to the benefit of all.

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  1. Jack's Avatar
    As opposed to the position of not dealing with illegal immigration other than sanctioning, supporting, and encouraging it? The pro-lawlessness position. You may not like enforcing a limit on immigration but rule of immigration law is hardly extremist: it's a sovereign's right which the vast majority of people support. Just because the MSM is biased against and politicians corrupt when it comes to enforcing that law doesn't make immigration anarchy a moderate position. Puhleeze.

    Romeny at the Sep. 7 debate:

    The reason they come in such great numbers is because we've left the magnet on.

    And I said, what do you mean, the magnet? And they said, when employers are willing to hire people who are here illegally, that's a magnet, and it draws them in. And we went in and talked about sanctuary cities, giving tuition breaks to the kids of illegal aliens, employers that, employers that knowingly hire people who are here illegally. Those things also have to be stopped.

    If we want to secure the border, we have to make sure we have a fence, technologically, determining where people are, enough agents to oversee it, and turn off that magnet. We can't talk about amnesty, we cannot give amnesty to those who have come here illegally.

    We've got 4.7 million people waiting in line legally. Let those people come in first, and those that are here illegally, they shouldn't have a special deal.


    He gets it. I wouldn't bet my life he'll stand up to the anti-enforcement forces but at least he understands that even talking about potential amnesty undermines deterrence. His level of understanding is actually pretty impressive compared to the usual "secure the border first", "my grandparent came from ______" stuff. Hunstman sounds like an open border rah-rah with that "lift real estate values" bit.

  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Jack, yes he gets it, and he gets you. He is playing the likes of you well.
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    Important part of the immigration debate and it should be addressed. But electorally he is playing to the business community which is already in his pocket, this is not going to win him votes elsewhere.... But I guess since the antis like Jack are buying it then it must effective in the primary politics of the republican party.
  4. Another Voice's Avatar
    See Jack is all about the Benjamin's after all...The antis are just the cheerleaders for these people.

    After 9/11, A New Era In The Business Of Detaining Immigrants

    "It is clear that since Sept. 11, there's a heightened focus on detention, both on the borders and in the U.S.," Logan, the chief executive of publicly-traded prison corporation Cornell Companies, told analysts on a quarterly earnings call. "More people are gonna get caught. ... So I would say that's positive."

    Logan's upbeat assessment of the post-9/11 world would prove true, as the federal government has embarked on an unprecedented campaign to round up, detain and eventually deport illegal immigrants under the guise of bolstering national security. Since Congress brought immigration enforcement under the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the number of immigrants locked up each year has nearly doubled to more than 390,000, creating a lucrative opportunity for private corporations hired to build and supervise detention centers across the country.
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    Romney is right on the mark with regards to green cards for skilled migrants..actually much better than Obama!
  6. Nurse Waiting's Avatar
    Words, words and some more words. Atleast with Bush his words meant something.
  7. Robin Ked's Avatar
  8. USC's Avatar

    You need to look in the mirror if you are searching for the uneducated. The correct spelling is "leeches" and there is no such word as "they're" in the English language.

    Such, creatures of limited intelligence, these antis!
  9. gg's Avatar

  10. My 2 cents's Avatar
    "Romney is right on the mark with regards to green cards for skilled migrants..actually much better than Obama!"

    Rightly said George, in his numerous speeches starting from his swearing in Obama has not uttered a single word on legal immigration. In the last Republican debate Romney & Huntsman were the only two to reiterate the need for skilled immigration for economic growth. I would take a Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman over Obama any day if they can keep their promise on immigration. Time's up for Obama.
  11. Simple Guy tired of waiting...'s Avatar
    Many of the legal immigration woes can simply be solved by internal memos. The Dems are holding on to this card as a negotiation tool to get the broad immigration reform that includes some sort of pathway for the millions of illegals. Clearly shows how much sincere the government is in helping to boost the economy. Passing legal immigration reform will help the economy and that is something we all agree. But words, words and more words and nothing is getting done. Time to pack up the bags before the US goes into a double dip recession. It is a complete waste of time and many legals are looking at other avenues, including myself. All I can say to this government in terms of turing the current state of the economy is "Good Luck". Your past measures have not worked and your are still arrogant about looking at other avenues (read legal immigration reform) as partial but yet effective ways of fixing the economy to some extent. I said partial because there are other things that still need to be done.
  12. George Chell's Avatar
    Robin Ked:

    Yes, when the GOP and the tea party agree to legalize abortion! and No, we simply dont have the budget to do it unless of course the Koch Brothers and Steve "the incompetent" Ballmer agree to subsidize such deportation!
  13. George Chell's Avatar
    In California they dont have money to put shoplifters in jail. In this day of budget shortfalls where cuts in government jobs are the number one reason for shortage of jobs, no, deporting 11-13 million non-violent criminals (if you call them that) is not a priority and should not be a priority. Resources need to be allocated efficiently which means putting violent criminals in jail or on death row...arresting non-violent illegals should not be a priority..until of course the GOP wants to raise taxes to put these guys in jail and deport them...nope, they cannot do it by cutting education spending for Americans!
  14. George Chell's Avatar
    One final note, if Romney's ideas are ever implemented it will literally wipe out talent from the UK and Europe and put Singapore's attempt to hire foreign talent in jeopardy. Foreign Direct Investment will return to the US and they will not need any tax breaks to lure them here!
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