The Entrepreneurs We Can’t Afford to LoseThu, 07/12/2012 - 11:25 — admin
July 11, 2012
Immigrant entrepreneurs have not only helped build the U.S. economy and, by extension, the country, they hold the key to our future success.
We already know from the pioneering research of Singularity University vice president and Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa and Berkeley’s School of Information Sciences dean Annalee Saxenian how important immigrants have been to the high-tech community.
Echoing a theme developed in an Oct. 2011 e-book by MIT economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee titled Race Against the Machine , Wadhwa has also argued that this century promises even more rapid technological innovation than the last one. Across multiple fields — genomics and medicine more broadly, artificial intelligence, and robotics — the exponential power of computing promises innovations we cannot yet conceive of but seem very much within reach based on past trends.
Big Step Forward on High-Skilled Immigration BillThu, 07/12/2012 - 11:05 — admin
July 11, 2012
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Republican Chuck Grassley on Wednesday removed a huge barrier to legislation that could speed the doddering visa system for highly skilled immigration. He removed his "hold" on legislation that would ease the immense backlogs for applicants from India and China, home to many superskilled immigrants. President Obama has endorsed the bill, and ironically, so has the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the bill last year.
The bill, termed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, would remove per-country quotas on permanent work visas. Under the current system, Iceland--a small country not known for producing highly skilled workers bound for the U.S.--gets allotted the same number of visas as China.
The legislation would not add to the overall number of available green cards, but it would speed processing for skilled immigrants who now face waits of up to 70 years on an endlessly renewing loop of temporary work visas. While on temporary visas, they can't change jobs or vote, and their spouses can't work.
Mayor Emanuel Introduces Ordinance to Make Chicago an Immigrant-Friendly CityThu, 07/12/2012 - 10:43 — admin
July 11, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his intention to introduce a Welcoming City Ordinance that builds on efforts to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the country by incorporating basic protections for undocumented Chicagoans who have not been convicted of a serious crime and are not wanted on a criminal warrant.
“This Welcoming City ordinance will make Chicago a national leader in welcoming those who play by the rules, contribute to our economy and help make Chicago the incredible city that was envisioned by its first immigrant settlers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This will prevent law abiding Chicagoans from being unfairly detained and deported, and will ensure that Chicago is a welcoming, multicultural global city where people have access to services they need to contribute to our city.”
Issue Media Update: The City as a StartupWed, 07/11/2012 - 13:23 — admin
July 11, 2012
In answer to a question about the most important thing cities can do as business generators, Case said, "Recruit for talent and find ways to connect people.
"It's the role of the government to set the stage for innovation to flourish," he said, and one way to do that is to "attract the best and the brightest to establish companies here." The problem is that "the majority of Ph.D. candidates leave because they're not allowed to stay."
According to a June CNN report, 3.5 million STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs in this country are going unfilled. Half of all PhDs in this country in math, computer science, and economics are being awarded to foreign-born students, many of whom are forced to leave because they can't get H-1B visas.
InsourcingWed, 07/11/2012 - 13:06 — admin
July 10, 2012
The U.S. presidential election quickly seems to be turning into a battle of "who-outsources-least." President Barack Obama has taken to referring to Republican candidate Mitt Romney as an "outsourcing pioneer" during his tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital. The Republican National Committee has countered with a new website accusing Obama of enriching foreign firms and workers with U.S. stimulus money.
The concern over outsourcing certainly hits a political nerve among the electorate -- and it makes sense during a time of high unemployment. But if the campaigns want to really focus on what accounts for America's sluggish economy, they should spend less time focusing on who is sending jobs overseas and more on who can actually bring skilled workers into the United States -- or keep them there. America's real outsourcing crisis is not firms moving manufacturing to other countries, but the thousands of potential entrepreneurs and job creators who are prevented from setting up shop in America because of immigration laws.
American University Presidents Write Letter To Obama, Want Legislature Change For International Student VisasWed, 07/11/2012 - 12:45 — admin
July 10, 2012
The presidents of 122 American universities signed a letter addressed to President Obama and four other government officials requesting the creation of new legislature that would change the current policy surrounding international student visas.
The letter, sent on July 2, begins by acknowledging the importance of research in maintaining America’s dominant position in the 21st century economy. The presidents argue that these young scholars are funded and trained by American universities only to have their visas expire soon after graduation. We neglect the chance to hire some of our brightest employees, and instead send them back to their home countries with competing economies.
To substantiate their claim, the letters lists some crucial statistics, including: the US graduates 16 percent of all PhDs worldwide in scientific and technical field; students on temporary visas were 45 percent of all graduate students in engineering, math, computer science and physical sciences; and that it was recently shown foreign-born inventors were credited contributors on more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities in the US.
Immigrants: Restless Dreamers, Economic PillarsTue, 07/10/2012 - 14:57 — admin
July 10, 2012
The American dream is alive and well, at least to immigrants who are magnetized by it.
It is they who challenge the rest of us to foster a culture of inclusion, access, opportunity, and empowerment. Moreover, they are the ones with the starkest sense of how America differs from every other country in the world. Their very belief in that difference virtually guarantees the American dream come true.
As James Jasper noted in his book Restless Nation, immigrants “picked this country because of its promise. They dreamed the dream.” This has always been one of the underlying premises of this dream, which has simultaneously been a catalyst for renewal and transformation of our society over the centuries.
Smart Immigration Policy Can Help NJ Tech Companies Fill High-Level SlotsTue, 07/10/2012 - 14:57 — admin
New Jersey Tech Weekly
July 4, 2012
N.J. tech companies that need to hire highly skilled technical workers with job expertise not found in the U.S. are suffering from outdated, bureaucratic and restrictive immigration policies and procedures, according to speakers at a conference sponsored by Einstein’s Alley, a private, nonprofit economic development initiative located in central New Jersey, and the Partnership for a New American Economy.
The meeting — which took place at the Institute of Advanced Study (Princeton) on June 26, 2012 — couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous time, with immigration policy making headlines in June, said Louis Wagman, who was standing in for Katherine Kish, Einstein’s Alley executive director. However, we don’t tend to talk enough about the effect immigration policy has on America’s competitiveness and job creation, he added.
Blueseed ‘Googleplex of the Sea’ Highlights Need For Visa ReformTue, 07/10/2012 - 11:11 — admin
July 9, 2012
As the U.S. continues to grapple with high unemployment, there is one place in the country where the jobless rate remains low: Silicon Valley. In fact, big U.S. tech companies like Google, Apple and Facebook are currently waging a war for top talent. Tech executives often talk about a shortage of highly-skilled workers, and the need to make it easier for immigrants with such skills to come to the U.S. But this year, the cap on H-1B visas — which allow educated foreign workers to get a job in the U.S. — has already been reached. The disconnect between our immigration system and the needs of Silicon Valley has become so acute that plans are being developed to anchor a giant ship off the coast of San Francisco, where immigrant entrepreneurs can live and work without needing to obtain a visa. This ambitious project, called Blueseed, highlights the lengths to which some are willing to go in the face of America’s flawed immigration system.
Silicon Valley has always relied heavily on immigrants — take Intel’s Andy Grove or Google’s Sergey Brin. Writing in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last year, Marc Andreessen, the billionaire co-founder of Netscape who now runs his own venture capital firm, described the need for tech talent in the Valley.
Letter to Obama Asks Legislators to Help Extend Visas for Foreign-Born StudentsMon, 07/09/2012 - 11:04 — admin
The Daily Californian
July 8, 2012
A letter sent July 2 to President Barack Obama and top-ranking congressional officials signed by leaders from more than 100 American universities — including UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and UC President Mark Yudof — calls for new legislation to allow foreign-born students to stay in the country longer after their student visa expires upon graduation.
According to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, an immigration reform group composed of mayors and businessman who organized the letter effort, more than three-fourths of all patents which come from the top 10 American research universities have had at least one foreign-born student involved.
The letter comes in an attempt to retain many foreign-born students within the math, science, engineering and technology fields due to their importance to the nation’s research capabilities and economic growth, according to the letter.