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Bloomberg Says Immigration-Based Reform Could Boost Economy

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WNYC

The U.S. can grow its way out of its economic troubles with immigration reform based on economics, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday during a speech in Washington, D.C.

In an address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bloomberg argued the 15 percent allocation of visas for economic reasons should be augmented, and foreign students earning advanced degrees in technical fields at U.S. universities should be eligible for green cards — saying such immigration-reform based legislation could produce jobs.

"As the two parties are locked in a standoff over how to create jobs, immigration reform based on our national economic needs offers a unique opportunity ... to both of them," Bloomberg said.  "It does not require either party to walk away from its position on taxes or spending."

The mayor said the U.S. should expand existing tools for attracting talent and entrepreneurs such as eliminating the cap on H-1B visas, and another cap that limits employment green cards by country.

Bloomberg made the remarks Wednesday at the Immigration and American Competitiveness Conference.

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Comments [6]

Truth from San Jose, CA

I am on H1B visa for the past 7+ years. I have a Masters degree in Computer Science from a top university in US. I work for a fortune 25 company. Here is my perspective. I came to US to pursue world class education. I am so glad that US of A gave me that opportunity. Once i graduated, i started working here in US, because i thought this is the only place at that time, i could do justice to my education. But as i started to work, i started learning something about the US economy and its dependence on the housing market. Also, with some work experience and understanding how companies in my field work, i even started thinking of being an entrepreneur. I have great ideas and even a strong desire to start my own company. (thanks to computer science - all it needs is engineers with a great idea coupled with business plan to launch a startup in the valley).

Now, I want to buy a house, like many of my friends who, by the way, are in very similar situation waiting for their greencards, but I/We cant. I am not very comfortable buying a house, pay the loan for 30 years, without first being a permanent resident.

I want to start a company and work for it, but i cant , as the law doesn't permit me.

Now, what is feel is, USA of gave me great education, and a great job but not a great chance to contribute to its economy !

Oct. 02 2011 03:23 AM
Love2Watch from Los Angeles

Instead of deportation wasting taxpayers money, why dont they allow them to stay especially for those who are trying to abide by the rules such as working, paying taxes never commited crimes and most importantly to those mixed families with USC. The government supposedly representing tax payers money are the one wasting for no good reasons.

Sep. 30 2011 11:07 PM
Ron from Rochester, NY

I know for sure, there are more than a million people living on Visas in US. These people are not getting green cards, they are rich and have money stashed in banks, they are not able to buy houses, because of their status on Visa. US policies are so traumatic, we are bringing paupers on diversity lottery green cards. We are ignoring millions of people in our own country, they can turn around the housing market in few months.

Sep. 29 2011 08:37 AM
Linda

Yes, the economy will be uplifted if giving green cards to international students who have advanced degrees ( the ones without criminal background) because they are wealthy and knowledgeable enough to set up companies to create jobs hiring at least 1-3 persons. I understand letting more immigrants will compete for jobs but if they can't find any jobs, they will NOT sit still at home and they will set up companies for jobs. If more immigrants come in, they will invite their friends and relatives to visit US, therefore, more tourists demand more hotel reservations, airline ticket reservations, restaurant reservations and increase the buying power of retail business in shopping malls. More immigrants will increase the demand of housing, education from their kids and all these will indirectly increase job demands in housing construction, education, salesmen and all kinds of jobs. Also, immigrants bring inflow of money to banks, buy cars, computers and all kinds of household appliances---these will help uplifting the profits in various industries.
Visa fees from immigrants and tourists will also bring some income. More immigrants will add more tax payers and there is no need to cut spending and no need to increase any tax from pre-existing rich citizens in the country.

Sep. 29 2011 04:32 AM
Mark

Eliminate the cap on H-1B visas and watch every computer science department that isn't in the top five schools become a ghost town. Even guys that seem to have a clue like Bloomberg come out with these boneheaded things. No student is going to go through the demanding computer science curriculum for some 70 hours a week job that doesn't pay anything. Those student will instead go and study high paying but largely frivolous things like law and finance. If you want kids to go into CS and work hard you need to give them incentives not disincentives. You'd think these "economic thinkers" would grasp this but I guess they are blinded by the temptation for lower labor costs next year rather than technological dominance next century.

Sep. 28 2011 02:58 PM
John80224 from Denver, CO

Or maybe, just maybe, rather than pandering to the audience we should promote smarter use of visas rather than ensuring that anyone who’s bright anywhere in any field should be brought onshore to ensure not only access to their brilliance, but most beneficially suppress the wages and opportunity of those pesky smart people already in the US. Obviously we are simply dumb and only outside intellect, in whatever quantities we can attract is the only hope.

How is common sense so uncommon? Not every genius is an entrepreneur nor is every FTE dollar amount saved a job (or five). I’m not saying there’s no use for visas by any stretch but the mantra of the Chamber has been to keep labor cheap. Rather than just killing more of the middle class off why not be smarter about how and in which fields these visas are used rather than opening an endless channel of supply?

Sep. 28 2011 01:28 PM

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