Immigration issues have been a major point of debate and campaigning during this year’s election, but so have economic issues – especially the issue of unemployment. Mitt Romney and President Obama have both spoken a great deal about the topic, which is not surprising, given that this is the first election year since the Second World War with an unemployment rate of more than 8%. According to experts, this issue, more than any other, may determine how voters cast their ballots. According some experts, even those who were born outside the US and have strong views on immigration may eventually be swayed to support a candidate based on their plans for creating jobs and economic growth. The economy is truly an issue that affects everyone.
Mitt Romney is promising that, if elected, he would lower the unemployment rate to 6% by the end of his first term in office. Romney promises to consolidate federal retraining programs and offer these to states in a block grant. Romney also wants to create Personal Reemployment Accounts for unemployed individuals. Money in these accounts would go towards retraining. The unemployed would be placed in companies under the program, to get retraining. However, Romney has also stated that he would slash the federal workforce by 10%.
In terms of tax reforms, Romney also hopes to stimulate the economy by creating a territorial corporate tax system to encourage multinational companies. He also has stated that he would cut the corporate income tax rate.
President Barack Obama has created a blueprint, announced during his January State of the Union address. That economic blueprint includes ideas for trade enforcement, US manufacturing, tax codes, and other ideas. Obama has also stated that he wants to create jobs by consolidating federal retraining programs and creating cooperation between community colleges and businesses, creating community career centers that retrain workers. President Obama has also stated that he would create nearly 15,000 jobs in the federal workforce.
President Obama has also suggested tax reforms which would give local companies tax cuts while taxing multinational businesses with outsourced jobs more. Obama has also stated that he would support legislation which would provide tax cuts and advantages to businesses that are creating jobs and improving working wages. He has also stated he would adjust regulations to ensure that small businesses are not as burdened with the costs of compliance with regulations.
Both candidates have ideas about using immigration policies to bolster the economy. Romney has stated that he would like to see policies that would make it easier for those with advanced degrees in science, math, and engineering to stay and work in the US. To that end, he would support a policy change that would allow those with a job at a US business and an advanced degree to get citizenship.
Romney’s policies, he has stated, would also allow exchange students studying certain subjects in the US to get permanent residency in the US so that they kept their skills in the country. President Obama has also supported a policy change which would allow workers and students to get citizenship. He has also stated that he would improve border control. While both Romney and Obama support the idea of skilled workers and students getting a path to permanent residency and citizenship, only Obama supports such a path for children of undocumented immigrants, as well.