Given the tepid economic recovery, it’s sad that Congress cannot enact a pro-growth immigration policy. Giving citizenship or permanent residency to more high-skilled immigrants is perhaps the single-easiest way to grow the American economy...A new STEM visa program would be good, but it would be better to simply expand the number of green cards issued based on "employment-based preferences." These visas go to immigrants who come here to do work with outstanding qualifications in their fields. They are scientists of "sustained national or international acclaim and recognition." They are the world's best teachers and researchers, who want to work in our universities. They are holders of advanced degrees with five years or more of professional experience or have at least two years' worth of training in specialized fields.
And yet, we only admit about 140,000 of them a year. That's just 13 percent of the total number of permanent-residency visas granted in 2011. Why on Earth do we not want this talent? The world's brightest want to bring their human capital to the U.S., and we turn them away. All we have to do is open the door
Thursday, November 1, 2012
My latest in Bloomberg View: