Published in November of 2011 this report from the Immigration Policy Center explores the role immigration should take in the 21st Century Economic Policy. There is a mistake belief that immigration reduces jobs for Americans, but most economic theorists actually show different. Not only do immigrants often actually create jobs by opening their own businesses and employing people to work in those businesses but they are vitally necessary to fill 2 areas of employment that America seems to lack in workers: that of highly educated and skilled labor (engineers, computer techs etc) and extremely low skilled (agriculture, unskilled manual labor etc). We as a population seem to fall somewhere in between those two extremes, most people in the United States have education levels between almost done with high school and college graduate. Lets face it, people in that skill set are overqualified and educated (and often refuse) to work in hard labor intensive jobs like meat packing plants, agriculture, roofing, etc and are not educated enough to fill all the high tech jobs our companies need.
Steve Jobs, before his death met personally with Obama and spoke to him about the need to revamp our immigration system to deal with the realities of our global economy. He told Obama that Apple recently built a plant overseas because thats where the workers were to fill the programming and engineering jobs that were needed. Our system is too slow, expensive, unsure and cumbersome for many businesses to keep their plants in the US because the fact is , the work force is not here and they cannot get them here. It is cheaper to build the whole plant overseas and ship the skilled labor from the US there to work than it is to try to get visas for the foreign workers to bring them here.
We have a system design when international travel was expensive, rare, exceptional and unique. When businesses largely did business with people locally and maybe across country for the really big companies. We are desperately trying to hold on to that system for some reason I cannot fathom even as our world has drastically changed and a person can get on a plane and be across the planet in less than 24 hours and for less than the cost of most house payments and rents. Where someone can open up an internet browser and buy even small things like a t-shirt from a seller in China an be wearing that same t-shirt within a few days. Why restrictionists are clinging to this antiquated system when it is clearly stifling the entrepreneural spirit and creative genius that has made America great in the first place. So read this link and put some thought into who you vote for in the coming year. I may seem like a one trick pony in this respect but immigration is something that is not going away and is not going to fix itself.