Lack of immigration reform hurting US competitiveness

AmericaWashington seems to be trapped in a hopeless gridlock, particularly on the issue of immigration reform, which is ironically the very thing that both of the major political parties in the United States agree is vital to the economic health of the nation.

The US particularly needs to take advantage of the worldwide highly-skilled labor market in order to meet demand as their competitors on the global scene step up their game so as to be able to attract the world’s brightest and best talent.  Industry leaders and government officials are in agreement that the United States should be the number one destination in the world for highly-skilled immigrants, which is why the H-1B visa program was created.

Without the H-1B US visas program a lot of companies in the US would be unable to find workers that have the necessary STEM qualifications and experience that they need in order to be able to grow and innovate.  Just 65,000 of these coveted visas are made available by the federal government per annum, with applications starting on April 1st and are usually snapped up within a matter of just a few days.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services claims to have received as many as 24,000 petitions for an H-1B visa in the last filing period, including ones that had been filed for an exemption for a special advanced degree.  Demand for these workers is enormous and the House of Representatives and the Senate need to step up to fix the problem.