Are Members of Congress psychic? While few elected officials ever utter the phrase “That’s beyond my area of expertise,” in my years in Washington I have never heard anyone claim an ability to predict the future. For that reason it’s not surprising that those who voted for the Immigration Act of 1990 never foresaw the enormous demand for high-skilled labor generated by the technological revolution of the past 25 years.
Stuart Anderson | All Articles
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Stuart Anderson served as executive associate commissioner for policy and counselor to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from August 2001 to January 2003 and is executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan research group based in Arlington, Va.
Thousands of minors from Central America crossing the Southwest border and turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents have led many people to blame human smuggling cartels and misinformation about U.S. policies on unaccompanied minors.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) primary defeat has some calling for an end to immigration reform, arguing his opponent ran in part against “amnesty.” But immigration is not just about the most controversial aspect of reform. Congress also is in charge of America’s policies to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants. While the two issues have been tied together politically, since it has been unlikely reforms to increase the number of H-1B visas and employment-based green cards would become law without accompanying measures on legalization and border security, the positive impact of highly skilled immigrants in America has never been greater.
More than 40 percent of the cancer researchers at America’s top cancer institutes are immigrants, according to a new report released by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). The work of immigrant cancer researchers is an example of how being open to immigration can benefit Americans.
The Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, could permit 30 million more people to gain access to health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Such a significant increase in the demand for health services combined with our aging baby boomer generation means the U.S. government needs to enact immigration (and other) policies that will ensure medical personnel are available to serve these patients. (See this new report on the topic from the National Foundation for American Policy.)
Every four years, government agencies fearing a change in administration propose last-minute regulations that seek to expand their power and lock in questionable policies. The Department of Labor wins this year’s award for the most brazen last-minute regulatory move for a proposal to require employers to reveal to competitors and the public sensitive commercial information, as well as personal data on the skilled foreign nationals they hire on H-1B temporary visas.
Nero at least fiddled while Rome burned. The U.S. Congress is doing almost nothing while American companies struggle in the global competition for talent. Americans companies’ inability to hire talented foreigners makes it hard for them to grow, invest and innovate inside this country and encourages them to expand outside of the U.S.