AILA Doc. No. 09072161 | Dated July 20, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC -- The current business immigration system is completely outmoded. It does not serve the interest of enticing and retaining the "best and the brightest." Nor does it address long-acknowledged shortages in various industries and geographic regions. Effective business immigration that will provide a needed boost to our flailing economy requires an immediate fix, not a pronouncement by a commission two years down the road. To address the serious flaws in our current business immigration system we need the following elements:
AILA OPPOSES AN IMMIGRATION COMMISSION THAT WOULD MAKE BINDING RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONGRESS
Several groups, including the Economic Policy Institute and the Migration Policy Institute, have put forth blueprints for an immigration commission to set immigration levels controlling the future flow of foreign nationals who may enter the U.S. to work for U.S. employers. The theory behind such a commission is that it would redress what Congress failed to do in 1986-that is, design a flexible system that could, essentially, open and close the employment-based immigration valve as needed. But the commission concepts that have been proposed thus far are fatally flawed, for a number of reasons:
FUTURE FLOW WARRANTS CAREFUL STUDY BY EXPERTS
The domestic and international forces that impact our country's need for immigrant workers are extremely complex. The ability to gather reliable data to predict future labor needs as well as future influx of immigrants is crucial to our nation's ability to have a flexible, rational context for the setting of appropriate immigration levels. While AILA does not endorse a commission model that would usurp Congress' ability to set appropriate levels of immigration, we do believe that it would be helpful to establish a taskforce of experts in the areas of world migration patterns, demographics and labor economics, to perform long-term studies of issues and emerging trends that might lead to the need to change immigration levels. Such issues might include:
An ongoing taskforce with the expertise to study and address issues such as those raised above should provide a report to Congress on a regular basis. AILA believes that the recommendations in such reports would be extremely useful to inform legislative decision-making on immigration levels, but should not be made binding on Congress.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 09072161.