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Visas for Professional Immigrants: A Must!

The organization Partnership for a New American Economy, which brings together over 500 Democratic, Republican, and Independent mayors, as well as industry and business leaders from all over the United States, has launched a new campaign: Immigration Reform: Outlook 2014 (#iamimmigration).

Partnership for a New American Economy is co-chaired by non-other than Mike Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor, who on January 24th took the organization´s new pro-immigration campaign to Washington together with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, former US Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, and Randy Johnson, Senior VP of the US Chamber of Commerce.

The new #iamimmigration campaign states: “From farmers to teachers, investors to inventors, Americans across the country support immigration reform for many different reasons… The #iamimmigration campaign gives people a platform to share their specific reason for supporting reform….”.

The new pro-immigration campaign is a platform that allows the public to share why they support immigration reform in the United States. It stresses the Partnership for a New American Economy’s efforts to establish a path to provide legal status to undocumented workers, while attracting and keeping at the same time the best, the brightest and the hardest working in order to strengthen the US economy. It also stresses the importance of immigration reform through figures and statistics.

Partnership for a New American Economy definitely wants what is best for the United States. At the same time as it supports immigration reform, it recognizes the importance of developing a “simple and secure system for employers to verify employment eligibility and hold businesses that are not compliant, or abuse visa programs, accountable for their actions”.

The new campaign contains graphics (available on LinkedIn and Twitter) showing that 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded either by immigrants or by their children, and how one in every ten workers privately employed in the U.S is employed by a business owned by an immigrant.

This information seems to support Gov. Snyder´s initiative this month that would bring 50,000 high-skilled immigrants to Detroit over a five-year period in order to boost the economy of the bankrupt city. Gov. Snyder believes that immigrants and their hard working ethics could be the solution to the city´s economic woes.

Detroit´s situation has been a puzzling one for many years. As the city became increasingly economically depressed, the area known as Mexicantown continued to flourish. As people have abandoned Detroit, leaving it with a population of around 700,000 people, Southwest Detroit has continued to open new businesses every day – in spite of ICE agents visiting them on a regular basis.

Gov. Snyder´s idea to boost Detroit´s economy is a good one. Still, in order for thousands of immigrants to come to Detroit, Gov. Snyder will have to convince the federal government to set aside the corresponding work EB-2 visas specifically for this city, for the next five years. So, Gov. Snyder is facing a struggle as the number of work visas that the U.S. government issues every year is limited, and his request represents 25% of the total number of visas issued for foreign professionals to move and work in this country.

Gov. Snyder´s ideas and plans are a far cry from those of other members of the Republican party. While many of them lobby to obstruct immigration reform, Gov. Snyder, a Certified Public Accountant, understands the importance of immigration to help Detroit come to life once again.

Those who oppose increasing the number of EB-2 visas may be doing so for a number of reasons, ranging from misconceptions and stereotypes, to a simple lack of real information.

Statistics published by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs prior to the “Our Shared Opportunity: A Vision for Global Prosperity” conference to be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago on February 6th, 2014, seem to support Gov. Snyder’s claim that immigrants are the solution to Detroit’s economic problems.

“Since 1980, over one billion people around the world have ascended from poverty. In the past 15 years, nearly 50 developing countries have seen an average of five percent GDP growth per year… There is a unique opportunity for governments and businesses in the US to cohesively engage these formidable economies…” [The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Thursday, February 6, 2014].

An increase in the number of professional visas in Detroit would mean that foreign students who come to Michigan universities would no longer need to return home to apply what they learned in the United States back in their home countries. Visas would make it possible for them to stay to work here to the benefit of the long suffering Motor City.