Immigration reform advocates hit the hill with studies

Eager to revive House GOP interest in immigration reform before the August congressional recess, advocates for reform put out a slew of new studies Thursday.

One posits that the short supply of H-1B temporary workers negatively affects tech job creation and wage growth for American workers, even those without college degrees.

The study from the Partnership for a New American Economy, an advocacy group that is for comprehensive immigration reform, looked at cities that suffered the biggest “H-1B shock,” the authors’ term for the opportunity costs of restrictions on the H-1B lotteries.

In 2007 and 2008, New York, northern New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Chicago were some of the cities that missed out on a tech industry growth spurt because of the visa restrictions, according to the study. The negative effect on San Jose and San Francisco in those years was smaller.

Another study by the National Foundation for American Policy says that immigrants are increasingly playing key roles in science and engineering. Another paper by the same organization breaks down the differences between the Senate immigration bill, which passed last year, and the House bill.

Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post conservative columnist, warned that if the GOP does nothing, it will play to the Democrats hand.

Instead, Republicans should latch on to the high-skilled visa reform proposals, which she calls good conservative policy. Add reforms for so-called Dream Act kids, and you have a package that Democrats will find hard to attack, she says.

Above: The Capitol Building. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)



Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (212 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.