Friday, May 18, 2007

Support the Comporomise Immigration Bill

There is a ton of coverage of the compromise reached between a bipartisan coalition in the Senate and the White House on the immigration bill. I suspect that it is, as described, the last, best hope for a law that will improve the situation. Let us not lose good legislation in a futile search for perfect legislation. Let us not put 12 million people through more uncertainty and mental anguish than we must for political opportunism.

The key issues are that:
  • we must have a means of bringing the 12,000,000 illegal immigrants now in the United States under the laws of the nation,
  • we must have a better system for regulating our borders and the flow of people into the United States.
In terms of knowledge for development, I think switching the criteria for legal entry to admit more of those who bring us the skills and knowledge this nation and its current people will benefit from is to the good. I am sorry that that means that it will be harder for people who are here to bring family members from abroad to live with them. I know it was difficult for my parents to be separated from their families when they immigrated to this country, but if the trauma is too great, people can always return to the countries from which they came to be reunited with their families. And of course, the reunification is not to be unlawful, but merely more difficult to arrange under the new law.

The Times of India says:
According to reports, a new US Senate proposal would allow limitless H1-B visas and green cards for foreigners with master’s degrees or higher in any field from an American university — or anyone with such credentials in the science, technology, engineering or math fields from abroad.
I think this may well be an overstatement, but I think there is to be an increase in the numbers of H1-B visas given to people in occupational categories in which there are deemed to be labor shortages in the United States. This too is an advantage to the economy of the nation, and while it may in the short term reduce the wage increases to those already here in those occupational categories, it will benefit the rest of us immediately, and the U.S. labor force in the long run. It will also help deal with the problem of an aging population, and the baby-boom generation retiring from the workforce and looking for the workers to support their social security.

Lets contact our Representatives in the House and ask for support of the compromise!

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