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December 13, 2007

Driving Jobs and Innovation Offshore: The Impact of High-Skill Immigration Restrictions on America

The recent decision by Microsoft to open an office in Vancouver, Canada, is merely the latest, most publicized symptom of a deeper underlying problem plaguing the U.S. Microsoft's decision was prompted, in large part, by the company's difficulties in navigating through the unqualified mess that is our nation's immigration laws. These laws place very restrictive, arbitrary limits on the number of high-skill foreign professionals allowed to come and work in this country, resulting in a completely inefficient and insufficient system that hurts businesses large and small, chips away at our nation's economic prominence around the world, and exacts a detrimental--and completely avoidable--toll on the well-being of the country at large. In Microsoft's case: because of these laws, and because of Microsoft's subsequent inability to recruit professionals to fill positions of need--not enough qualified Americans exist; and not enough qualified foreign nationals are permitted into the country--the company was forced to open an office in Canada, whose high-skill immigration laws are much more flexible, permissive, and friendly to businesses requiring foreign professional labor.

Sadly, far from being an isolated case, Microsoft's decision to set up shop outside the U.S. is likely to be a harbinger of things to come for U.S. businesses--a replicated norm for many businesses in the future, rather than an exceptional occurrence--should U.S. immigration laws remain so restrictive. This is the conclusion of a new study published by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nationally renowned public policy think tank focusing on trade, immigration and related issues. The study dispels the many myths about high-skill immigration routinely and subversively circulated by immigration opponents, and attempts to highlight the urgent need our nation has for more high-skill immigrant labor, all with an eye toward finally convincing Congress just how dire the situation is becoming and how close this country is to falling precipitously, irretrievably behind our global competitors.

The full study is available on the NFAP homepage at; http://www.nfap.com/pdf/071206study.pdf

Posted by VisaLawyer at December 13, 2007 06:42 AM

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