It may be one of the more endearing nicknames we’ve seen in a while: dubbing the Congressional supporters of immigration reform as the ‘Gang of Eight’ has a somewhat nostalgic ring to it, especially if you’re a baby boomer remembering terms and phrases popular back in the sixties. More importantly, the federal immigration bill, if passed, would impact California positively and would expand opportunities for temporary work visas and permanent residence for high-skilled workers from overseas. This would help satisfy the enormous demand in the country for skilled and high tech workers.
It appears that the government currently has unduly restricted the ability of engineers and other high tech workers to immigrate here. These unrealistic limitations have resulted in many companies having unfulfilled positions for technologically skilled workers. For example, the limit on H-1B visas for skilled workers is 65,000, but immigration authorities report having reached that cap less than a week after the application period opened. The agency is facing using a lottery to pick future applicants.
Furthermore, it’s reported that far too many students are forced out of the country when their student visas expire, instead of giving them the opportunity to apply for permanent resident status. In fact, we’ve apparently created an underground of university graduates here on student visas that have gone into the shadows to avoid deportation. Furthermore, an increase in foreign graduates in science, technology, engineering and math has been proved to increase wages for native workers and to increase productivity and economic growth, according to studies at the University of California-Davis and at Colgate University.
That last factor is something that the country has ignored for far too long -important economic benefits have been wasted by not holding onto willing high tech workers who want to contribute to the country’s growth. If you’re a California resident facing immigration questions you’ll want to closely follow the progress of the so-called ‘Gang of Eight’ legislation, which will increase the numbers of immigrants who can apply for permanent residence status. Additionally, you may find it highly beneficial to get a consultation with an immigration practitioner who can answer all of your questions and give you an accurate and informed explanation of your options and potential remedies.
Source: azcentral.com, “Immigration reform would aid skilled workers,” April 22, 2013