Immigration reform is generating strong opinions from both sides of the political spectrum. While some of the debate has evolved around protecting jobs on U.S. soil, immigration reform is also necessary to address the crackdown on undocumented workers which is already hurting the farming industry. Attacking this population of the workforce is likely to spread to other industries, including construction.
In addition to undocumented workers, high-tech industries could benefit from immigrant workers, an area that currently absorbs 80 percent of H-1B visa applicants. New jobs in the developing world are making economic opportunities more possible for skilled immigrants that would have once come to the United States. Overall, every business sector has benefitted from the competition and innovation of the immigrant workforce
According to a new study, within a month after the 1998 American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act, companies that benefited from an increase in the high-tech workforce also demonstrated a 15% higher return than their counterparts.
In addition to entrepreneurs and inventors that are part of the immigration workforce, foreign educated nurses now account for 20 percent or more of all those taking licensing exams. At lower education levels, low-skilled immigrants had a higher level of employment and lower poverty than native low-skilled populations, even though they earned $5,000 less on average.
Immigrant workers not only contribute a necessary portion of the workforce, but play an integral role in building the economy. Despite the growing importance of immigrants, an unprecedented number of workers are being educated in the U.S. and returning home rather than staying in the U.S. to work.
By giving more rights to immigrant workers, U.S. businesses would expand, create job growth and also be prepared to support a globalized world economy. If you are an investor, business owner, or immigrant seeking status in the United States, an experienced attorney can review your case and help you protect your rights.
Source: Business Week, “Why More Immigration, Not Less, Is Key to Economic Growth,” Charles Kenny, Oct. 28, 2012