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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ARNOLD AND THE GUVS TO CONGRESS: FIX EMPLOYMENT IMMIGRATION NOW!

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Tuesday, September 11,
2007                                                
             



>



Gov. Schwarzenegger Leads Multi-State Push for Immigration
Reform to Protect Skilled Workforce





Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined by Governors from 12
other states, today sent the following letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate
and House of Representatives urging Congressional action this year on
immigration reform that recognizes states' needs to remain competitive in a
global economy:
>



September 11, 2007

Dear Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and
Representative Boehner:





As the chief executives of our respective states, we appreciate
the enormity of the task involved in reforming our nation's immigration
laws.  Like you, we recognize the paramount importance of protecting and
preserving the safety and interests of the United States and its citizens
while recognizing the states' and nation's economic needs.





Fundamentally, we believe that our states' businesses should
be able to find the world's best-educated workers among our own citizens.
Toward that end, we continue to make significant investments in math and
science education and are ensuring that our states' two- and four-year colleges
and universities are able to accommodate more students who are preparing for
high-demand fields, especially in engineering, math and computer science.





While we concentrate on building a highly skilled and
competitive workforce for increasing opportunities in high-tech jobs, unfortunately,
today, we and our nation face a critical shortage of highly skilled
professionals in math and science to fill current needs.   Until we
are able to address this workforce shortage, we must recognize that foreign
talent has a role to play in our ability to keep companies located in our state
and country; and, therefore, need to ensure the increased availability of
temporary H1-B visas, and permanent resident visas (green cards).





Under the current H1-B system, the number of visas available
has been running out faster and faster each year.  The current base cap of
65,000 was arbitrarily set in 1990, and today bears no relation to our economy
and our state's demand for skilled professionals.  In fact, in fiscal year
2007, the supply of H1-B visas did not last eight weeks into the filing period,
and ran out more than four months before the fiscal year even began; and in
fiscal year 2008, the supply ran out on the first day of the filing period.





Our green card system, also last devised in 1990, faces
severe shortages that most heavily impact the high technology industry, forcing
some of the most innovative contributors to our economy to wait well in excess
of five years for a green card.  Because of these delays we are seeing
more and more of these talented individuals leave their U.S. jobs and
return home.





If states like ours are to remain world leaders in
innovation and intend to continue to see the job growth that is so vital to our
economies, we must keep our employers in our states and ensure there is a
skilled workforce in this country to fill their immediate needs.  While
wholesale immigration reform may not be possible in the 110th Congress, we urge
Congressional action this year that recognizes states' immediate need to
recruit and retain professionals in key sectors, while we continue to produce
here at home the skilled workforce our companies need in the
long-term.   





Sincerely,







 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 

Christine Gregoire


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Washington


 

 

lace w:st="on">lace>



Arnold


  Schwarzenegger
 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



California


 

 

Mitch Daniels


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Indiana


 

 

Bill Ritter


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Colorado


 

 

Deval Patrick


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Massachusetts


 

 

Dave Freudenthal


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Wyoming


 

 

Eliot Spitzer


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



New
    York


 

 

Janet Napolitano


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Arizona


 

 

Jim Doyle


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Wisconsin


 

 

Kathleen Sebelius


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Kansas


 

 

Tim Pawlenty


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Minnesota


 

 

Jim Gibbons


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Nevada


 

 

Rick Perry


 

Governor of lace w:st="on">lace>



Texas


 

 

>


 


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  1. Anonymous's Avatar
    Translation: "The companies who paid for our campaigns want cheap and exploitable labor. Please give us more indentured workers. Don't worry about protecting immigrants or workers from abuses - that cuts into the bottom line."

    Oh, and never mind the Duke study (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/a-solution-to-the-high-tech-immigrant-challenge/) that says there is no shortage of labor. I really enjoyed listening to Ron Hira soundly kick Martin Lawler's rear in their debate over the H-1b visa on NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14241565&ft=1&f=5

    The arguments you guys make defy logic - and common sense.
  2. Calouste's Avatar
    Anonymous,

    your first link doesn't work.
  3. Anonymous's Avatar
    Sorry - It included the ")" in the URL. Try this one.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/a-solution-to-the-high-tech-immigrant-challenge/
  4. Limbo's Avatar
    Cool. Hopefully this sort of thing will start to drown out the protectionist loudmouths like Dobbs :-)

    The protectionists will never change their tune and will cling to anything that helps their cause while ignoring any and all contrary evidence.
  5. Ron's Avatar
    Roy, you're being ridiculous now. Shut the hell up. Your medieval Programmer's Guild will eventually go the way of the dodo, and people with mindset like yours have no place in the global economy of the 21st century.
  6. Anonymous's Avatar
    Ron Hira isn't in the Programmers Guild. In fact, he is of Indian descent. And so is the Duke study author who is opposed to the H-1b - and prefers green cards.

    You can toss out red-herrings all day long. They don't change facts.
  7. Anonymous's Avatar
    "Cool. Hopefully this sort of thing will start to drown out the protectionist loudmouths like Dobbs :-)"

    He supports replacing the H-1b with a permanent visa. Something I have supported all along. And idiots are telling me to shut up. Go figure.
  8. Limbo's Avatar
    "And idiots are telling me to shut up"

    Yeah, I wouldn't take it personally, I think it's just frustration. It just seems like when you feel you are finally in a position to kick a field goal, somebody keeps moving the goal posts.

    There appears to be many people trying to scuttle any kind of immigration reform that in any way, shape or form increases the number of immigrants and no matter what is proposed, there is something wrong with it. It doesn't seem like the Governors are demanding any specific action, like increasing H-1's, but are just saying the current system is not working.

    As for me (and probably many others here feel the same), I think some hard core protectionists will use any excuse in the book to just keep immigrants out, but since they don't want to directly come out and say that, they just play this game of fault finding with anything that is proposed.
  9. paskal's Avatar
    everything gets linked to H1B
    zazona's newsletter has suddenly discovered the iv rally and apologizes to it's readers while crediting iv for planning it "under everyones' radar". goes on to say that the rally will demand more H1b visas. given that these guys keep a firm eye on the iv forum and read everything (he posted all kinds of stuff from the site) you would think he would know that iv does NOT ask for more H1B visas. just an end to retrogression. the H1B visa is used as the whipping boy to tarnish everything about skilled immigration...

    btw Roy/anon/whoever, i am curious- you claim to be for green cards and against H1b's. well and good. so why does it help to have 500,000 workers in limbo for years together, with little mobility in jobs? surely that's counterproductive for all?
    these people are hear and working- would be far better to get them the GC they will eventually have anyway- in good time.
    how about supporting an end to retrogression as a separate issue from whatever reform is needed in the H1B program? seriously...?
  10. Limbo's Avatar
    October VB is out:

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3800.html
  11. Athan's Avatar
    Anonymous ..

    I agree that H1b system for IT side is being abused often ..

    Everybody here supports you only when you guys more vocal on increasing Green cards first before you talk about reducing H1bs. Till then nobody gonna beleive that you or Ron hira really want to increase the green cards
  12. Anonymous's Avatar
    "As for me (and probably many others here feel the same), I think some hard core protectionists will use any excuse in the book to just keep immigrants out,"

    OK, I agree. The way you can tell the difference is to get specifics. What would they do instead? Is there any number of immigrants that are OK? And then on the other side of the coin for the pro-immigrants, are there any protections that are OK?

    You have two extremes. One extreme says let everyone in - never mind the borders and laws.

    Then the other extreme says "kick them all out". They may not say it directly, but in private conversation that's what they say.

    I'm don't participate in this blog, believe it or not, to flame or make people angry. It's for a few reasons. I want to understand where your group comes from, hone my views on different subjects, and test out various arguments supporting my positions.

    I have found that there are a few people here that make having a logical or informed discussion difficult. If you look at my views, I am rather mainstream. I don't support kicking everyone out (support some form of amnesty - with some civil penalties to make everyone feel warm and comfy), and I do support enforcement of the law. I oppose temporary visas and employer sponsored visas, and instead support perm visas.
  13. Anonymous's Avatar
    "Till then nobody gonna beleive that you or Ron hira really want to increase the green cards"

    Strange, because we say it all the time. You can take what I say at face value.
  14. Athan's Avatar
    What I mean to say is first talk about green card backlog before u talk about Durbin bill.
  15. paskal's Avatar
    Athan makes a good point anon.
    If the folks that are truly for skilled immigration but do not like the H1b as it stands today were to clearly support ending retrogression without reservations- the support for reform in the H1B visa - whatever that may entail- ending it or adding protection- may turn out to be considerable. Today, even if the immigrants feel that reform is a good idea they will not support those who demand it. This is because we don't trust these guys- their support for Green cards and skilled immigration in general is tenuous to say the least. They have opposed recapture of wasted visas (green cards) and spread misinformation about it. Why? These green card numbers were alloted under the current quota and USCIS inefficiency is the only reason they were not used. Actions like these lead to a serious rift between the sides and dialog is impossible..
  16. 's Avatar
    "This is because we don't trust these guys- their support for Green cards and skilled immigration in general is tenuous to say the least. They have opposed recapture of wasted visas (green cards) and spread misinformation about it. "

    Who has? Quote, please. Show me where I or Ron Hira have done that. Or anyone (prominent) claiming to be for GCs over the H-1b. I have never waivered my support of a GC over the H-1b. Here is my specific position:

    "I support an equal number of GCs to replace the H-1b - 85,000 a year ADDITIONAL GCs to be exact. I would also exempt immediate family members from that number. I support streamlining the process so that you are not waiting for years. It should be done in months at most. I also support ending the employer sponsorship of immigrants, since their intentions aren't always in the best interest of the immigrant or of the United States."

    Hopefully you didn't find anything ambiguous about my statement.
  17. Anonymous's Avatar
    "What I mean to say is first talk about green card backlog before u talk about Durbin bill. "

    Durbin resolves some problems with the H-1b. It doesn't replace it with a GC. It's tough to support Durbin and disposing of the H-1b at the same time. It's like saying "let's both fix and destroy it". The two ideas contradict each other.

    I support Durbin if they aren't going to do something smarter - such as a GC instead. What would you want added to Durbin if the option wasn't a GC instead?
  18. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Anon - And Michele Malkin is Filipino and Lou Dobbs' wife is Colombian. Guess what - some of the most anti-immigrant people in the US are self-hating immigrants. It's kind of like - how can I show I'm most American - I'll bash the newer immigrants. This is as old as America itself.
  19. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Anon - show me ANYTHING showing Dobbs supports employment-based green cards.
  20. Anonymous's Avatar
    "Anon - And Michele Malkin is Filipino and Lou Dobbs' wife is Colombian. Guess what - some of the most anti-immigrant people in the US are self-hating immigrants. "

    Those immigrants aren't arguing for a GC instead of the H-1b. The author of the Duke study and Ron Hira - both of Indian descent - are both immigrant friendly and worker friendly - and both arguing that a GC would be better.

    They are the middleground everyone seeks.

    They shouldn't be lumped with Michele Malkin. Or Dobb's wife - who is not in the public eye and has not spoken her own views that I am aware of.
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