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U.S. Competitiveness being Hampered by Immigration Policy

immigration1.jpgMost people would probably agree that it is well past time to reform the U.S. immigration system. But there is still a lack of knowledge on the part of the public as to how the nation’s immigration policy failures are negatively affecting the country as a whole. While the media rattles on incessantly about whether or not there should be “amnesty” for undocumented workers, something more sinister is happening with the current immigration system. Due to the fact that the system is geared toward allowing speedier entry to immigrants who have relatives in the U.S., a number of highly qualified immigrants are finding that they must wait for years and years to enter the country, while those with relatives get first preference.

One of the reasons the United States has grown to great prominence over the years is because of the country’s ability to pull some of the greatest minds from across the world, and unite them under the banner of the U.S. flag. Perhaps the greatest demonstration of this was the large number of successful immigrants which came to the U.S. during the years of World War II and directly after. Many of these émigrés were brilliant scientists, artists, and other professionals. But now it is more difficult than ever for a professional who does not have a familial connection in the U.S. to immigrate to the country. This difficulty has contributed to the United States falling to 4th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

By contrast, immigrant relatives of those people who live in the U.S. are treated with preference. This fact has an obvious rationale; but it is not a straightforward deduction that family members of U.S. citizens and residents should benefit from a faster immigration process than foreign professionals. The system should be able to accommodate both classes of immigrants equally, as both are important. For example, it has been reported that 1 out of 4 engineering and technology companies founded between 1995 and 2005 were founded by immigrants. These companies have produced over $52 billion in sales and employed over 450,000 people. This kind of potential economic activity has to be considered when Congress finally tackles immigration reform this year.

The current visa program, which allows for the entry of highly skilled professionals, is called the H1-B visa program. The U.S. Senate already passed a bill in June which would raise the number of immigrants who enter the country under H1-B from 65,000 to 115,000 annually. The bill also provides a visa category for immigrant entrepreneurs who own businesses with more than $250,000 in annual revenue or have $100,000 or more in venture backing.

It is important that the U.S. continue to do the things which made this country great. One of those things was having an immigration policy which helps qualified professionals come to this country so that they can both reach their full potentials and help the U.S. do the same. The Austin immigration attorney at Lyttle Law firm are committed to helping you with all your immigration needs. Call us at 512-215-5225 or visit our website in order to learn more.