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Employment-based immigration good for economy, study concludes

Those that oppose immigration reform and seek strict enforcement through deportation proceedings, particularly as a means of limiting employment-based immigration, point to a generally perceived risk for U.S.-born American workers. As the argument goes, foreign immigrants with work visas are taking jobs away from U.S. workers at a time when unemployment continues to be a sticking point for the country's economic woes. But a recent study seems to debunk the theory, no matter what some politicians are saying on either side of the aisle in the District of Columbia. And the study was prepared and published by a conservative think-tank and a business-friendly organization, groups one would normally expect to oppose immigration initiatives.The study was a joint venture between the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Partnership for a New American Economy. Its goal was to review immigration data from 2000 to 2007 in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The unexpected conclusion was that temporary foreign workers actually create job opportunities for U.S.-born Americans and also improve the economy, and this was found to be true of both skilled and unskilled workers. For every 100 H-1B visas granted for skilled labor, jobs were said to be created for an additional 183 U.S. natives. For every 100 H-2B visas granted for unskilled labor, an additional 464 jobs were created for U.S.-born Americans.

Potential changes to H-1B visa legislation

Washington residents are well aware of the unemployment situation facing millions of Americans today. America frequently relies on immigrants and outsourced workers for special skills and laborers, and the H-1B visa is a means that provides for those workers to also receive gainful employment. We just reported in our last post on a bill known as HR 3012 and called the "Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act," which passed the House by a 389-15 vote (Employment-based immigration gets bipartisan boost in Washington). Now there's a snag. While the H-1B visa is necessary for America to continue running effectively, a Senator from Iowa is hoping to put some caps on the proposed legislation.The intent behind the Senator's proposal is to enable more Americans to be work. He is pursuing this intent by hoping to block a current bill that eliminates per-country caps on employment sponsored green cards. In other words, there is a current cap by country on the number of employment sponsored green cards a country can apply for.

Employment-based immigration gets bipartisan boost in Washington

Employment-based immigration may get a little easier as the result of proposed new legislation which coasted through the Republican controlled House of Representatives in Washington in recent weeks. The bill, which still must pass the Senate, is called the "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigration Act." It relaxes current rules regarding employment-based immigration, making it easier for highly educated people from larger countries to obtain visas. Current rules limit each country to no more than 7 percent of the 140,000 H1-B visas granted every year. Without increasing the overall number of visas, the new law would ostensibly cut the waiting time for a visa for countries like China and India from about 70 years to 10.

While the bill is expected to pass the Senate in a rare show of bipartisan support, the initiative does little to address the raging immigration debate in Washington and across the country. Many see the system as completely broken, though there are sharply differing views on how to fix it.

Asians worry about family immigration and other legal issues

In terms of immigration, it may seem too many immigrants that the politicians who reside in the District of Columbia often miss the mark. One area of concern is the stereotype that all immigrants are Latino. This is simply not true and many Asian immigrants would like to see Congress pay more attention to their needs when it comes to permanent residency, green cards and visa issues.

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