For too long, America’s broken high-skilled immigration system has been an obstacle to U.S. innovation, job creation and economic growth. SIA has long advocated for increasing the number of green cards available to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates and expanding the H-1B visa program. Unfortunately, the divisive politics of the broader immigration debate have trumped good policy, and American businesses have suffered as a result.
Allowing top minds from abroad to fill open jobs in the U.S. is critical to America’s strength and technology leadership, as well as the U.S. semiconductor industry. Every highly educated immigrant who stays and works in the U.S. creates nearly three additional American jobs, according to a recent study, and many of America’s most innovative companies – including several SIA members – were founded and led by immigrants.
While the high-skilled immigration initiatives announced last night by the President are a small step in the right direction, these actions alone fall short of solving the problem. The best and most effective path forward is for Congress to develop a legislative fix that can be signed into law. SIA strongly urges the 114th Congress to work with the White House early in 2015 to enact meaningful immigration reform legislation. Doing so will boost U.S. competitiveness, spur innovation and grow our economy.