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February 03, 2007

U.S. Immigration Policy in Global Perspective: International Migration in OECD Countries

The United States possesses a number of competitive assets in the global war for talent: most notably, its huge and flexible labor market and an abundance of leading-edge multinational corporations and world-class universities. However, the United States also faces growing competition in the global labor market from other countries within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as from the expanding economic opportunities available in the home countries of Indian and Chinese professionals who constitute a vital talent pool for U.S. high-tech companies.These trends underscore the need to make sure that U.S. immigration policies are responsive to the demands of an increasingly competitive global economic environment.

In a special report issued by the Immigration Policy Center earlier this month, David Bartlett, PhD., President of the Minneapolis-based Global Economics Company and Adjunct Professor in the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, argues that the current quota-based system regulating the flow of high-skilled immigrants into the U.S. is simply inadequate to meet the needs of this country and allow it to remain competitive in the global economy. According to Dr. Bartlett, the best antidote to curing this problem is to replace the current H-1B program, along with its arbitrary numerical limits, with something akin to the points-based systems currently being used or considered in places like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.K. Professor Bartlett acknowledges, however, that such a system is unlikely to be implemented in the U.S. anytime soon, given the current Congressional preoccupation with security concerns. Instead, he argues that in the absence of such a points-based system, an increase in the H-1B cap like that proposed last year in the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 2611) is a necessity if the U.S. is to remain competitive with the other increasingly competitive economic powers of the world.

The full report is available on the IPC's website; http://www.ailf.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at February 3, 2007 06:55 AM


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