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Business targets skilled workers

Posted on November 11, 2011
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A new push to get immigration reform past a stalled Congress is coming from employers hungry for highly skilled workers.

A business group declares that, rather than taking jobs away from Americans, reform will improve the economy and spur employment.

“We have huge shortages,” said an aide to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heads the group. “There are companies that are just dying to get the scientists they need, the engineers that they need, to grow, and they can’t get those people. …

“If they can’t get the core engineer, they’re not going to create all the other jobs that they have throughout their company.”

The group, which includes the mayor of Nashville, seeks to raise business pressure for Congress to get past emotional issues such as border control and amnesty that have blocked immigration reform.

It wants Congress to create special visas for entrepreneurs who will pledge to start businesses in the United States, and it wants to make it easier for foreigners to remain in this country after they complete their studies.

Talented business people are now drawn to countries like Canada, China and India, the Bloomberg aide told The Tennessean in Nashville.

“It used to be we could have terrible immigration laws because where else were you going to go?” he said. “You want to come here. But you talk to Indian and Chinese students … they’re now going back.”

Under current rules, potential visitors face long waits and State Department interviews just to get permission to enter the country for a few weeks. A State Department representative said, “The United States is more foreboding than it should be.”

Like it or not, the world is shrinking. More and more every day, communication and trade cross national borders. Making national security into a holy grail can mean that the world will leave us behind.

8 Nov 2011

http://www.parispi.net/articles/2011/11/09/opinion/editorials/doc4eb9643b3b21b843204786.txt

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