In terms of legislative process, the path forward for immigration reform remains a work in progress. In terms of economic impact, the path forward for our country if immigration reform becomes law is crystal clear: The United States will experience increased productivity, new businesses and jobs, and a revitalized, more innovative economy.
A new White House report outlines the potential economic benefits that would come to our country if Congress fixed our broken, outdated immigration system. Just as important, the report also juxtaposes the clear benefits of action with the sobering costs of inaction.
Take our industry as an example. Left with the status quo, tens of thousands of highly skilled, U.S.-educated professionals will remain in legal and professional limbo, stuck in a green-card backlog that limits their professional advancement and prevents their being able to start businesses and create new jobs. Given that uncertainty, the clear winners are and will continue to be other countries, ranging from Chile to Canada, that are actively recruiting skilled professionals to achieve their professional ambitions outside the United States.
The green-card reforms in the Senate-passed immigration bill would reinvigorate entrepreneurial innovation in the U.S., and nearly every economic study has shown that additional green cards for entrepreneurs and advanced-degree graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math would create new businesses and jobs across the country.
Indeed, the breadth and depth of research in the White House report, by itself, is compelling. Just review the footnotes and you’ll see research data and findings from organizations like the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for American Progress, as well as the perspectives of economists and thought leaders from across the political spectrum.
Today’s report helps to reinforce the real question for Congress. It’s not “Immigration Reform, yes or no?” It’s “Immigration Reform, Now or Later?” Given the critical issue of our future economic security and competitiveness, the time for immigration reform is now.