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Jeb Bush Calls for More Highly Skilled Workers, Such as from India

Posted on February 12, 2015
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DETROIT — Jeb Bush, a top Republican presidential aspirant, Feb. 4 called for fixing the U.S. immigration system to boost the economy and advocated the need to welcome guest workers and highly skilled individuals, a move likely to benefit techies from countries like India, reports PTI.

In a major speech on his economic policies, Bush, the former Florida governor, called immigration a unique facet of the U.S. and one that Americans should embrace.

“Immigration’s not a problem. While the political fights are going on we’re missing this opportunity,” he said.

That opportunity is to fix the immigration system in order to boost the economy by welcoming guest workers and highly-skilled individuals, for example, said Bush, who is the son and a brother of two former U.S. presidents — H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

The Associated Press adds: In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Bush offered an economic vision with few specifics, saying he favored promoting two-parent families and closing the income gap by overhauling the nation’s school systems to give parents more choice.

The former Florida governor said the U.S. economy should be growing at four percent annually.

But he also called for “dramatically expanding” the number of immigrants allowed to enter the country to work in high-need jobs, while calling the prospect of overhauling the country’s immigration system “a huge opportunity … not a problem.”

“While the political fights go on, we’re missing this opportunity. I view fixing a broken system as a huge opportunity to get to that four percent growth,” Bush told about 600 Detroit-area business leaders. “We can grow by 4 percent through all sorts of policies, but immigration has to be a part of it.”

Bush has long supported a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. In a speech last month to auto dealers in San Francisco, he called immigrants “an engine of economic vitality.”

Bush’s comments Feb. 4 addressed the desire of some industries, especially technology, to allow more immigrants with specific skills to come to the United States legally. They did not refer directly to the roughly 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, the source of most of the political tension over immigration.

Bush has previously said he supports allowing people in the country illegally to stay, but only after taking a series of steps, such as paying unpaid taxes. The position puts him at odds with some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters, a group likely to hold great sway in the primaries, who aggressively opposes any pathway to legal status — something they call “amnesty.”

Bush’s position on immigration is not unique, however, as Republican White House prospects such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have also previously supported a similar position.

Like many other Republicans, Bush cites border security as a crucial component of any immigration overhaul and told the auto dealers the U.S. should “politely ask” those who came to the country legally but have since overstayed their visa to leave.

But Bush also supported the immigration overhaul that passed the Senate last year before failing to advance through the House. He said that shifting the debate “to an economic issue from a political issue will be helpful.”

Of skilled guest workers, investors and inventors seeking to immigrate legally to the U.S., he said, “All these people should be welcomed in our country, and the unwritten contract ought to be: Embrace our values and you can pursue your dreams.”

At the same time, Bush argued, such an expansion would require leaders to show greater acceptance of the racial and ethnic diversity such a change would bring to the country.

“The American experience works when people embrace a set of shared values. You come, you work hard, you embrace these values and you’re as American as anybody that came on the Mayflower,” Bush said.

http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/jeb-bush-calls-for-more-highly-skilled-workers-such-as/article_600f5bb4-b099-11e4-bf84-9358a962fb8f.html

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