Immigration reform vital to US competitiveness

H-1B VisaImmigration has been placed onto the back burner by the House of Representatives, but action will need to be taken soon in order to let more foreign workers come to the United States so that the economy remains competitive, according to AOL co-founder Steve Case.

“While immigration is often debated in the U.S. as a humanitarian matter, or a political matter, or a legal matter (and it is all those things), our global competitors see it for what it is: a critical economic matter in a global race for talent, job creation and innovation,” Case wrote in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

Case says that while the immigration bill that passed the Senate back in June might not be perfect, it nonetheless creates start-up US visas for entrepreneurs, makes it easier for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) students to remain in the United States and gain citizenship, and increases the cap on H1-B visas for those employed in specialty fields.  He adds that when taken as a whole all of these reforms represent a massive step in the right direction.

Case is now calling on the House of Representatives to come up with an immigration bill that offers the right tools to win the worldwide fight for talent as well as addressing the other economic, moral and political problems with the current system.  “Every day that goes by without reform, our economic future is imperiled.”