Sunday, March 02, 2008

Blog Release: Rust Belt High Skill Immigration Zone Update

From Richard Herman:

Renowned Law Professor/Author William Hing, UC Davis School of Law, member of Senator Obama's Immigration Policy Group, has picked up on the "High Skill Immigration Zone" proposal and is spreading the word!

Much has been made in Cleveland after the Democratic Primary debate here last week that the candidates have not adequately addressed the severe economic crises that Cleveland and other Rust Belt urban cities are battling.

Inasmuch as Cleveland is at or near the center of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, massive abandonment of properties, catastrophic job loss, and progressive depopulation, much of the local media coverage after the debate indicated strong bewilderment by Clevelanders that urban economic crisis was barely even mentioned during the debate.

The Rust Belt represents unique opportunities and challenges for the country. (See Brookings' Great Lakes Economic Initiative)

Targeted High Skill Immigration Law Reform could be one element of a broader Rust Belt Revitalization Plan. The "high skill immigration zone" is an opportunity for the federal government to create jobs and new industries within the Rust Belt.

Immigration policy discussion is overwhelmed with the issues related to undocumented, lower-skilled immigration. Little is said about high skill immigration. This is a missed opportunity for the candidates to articulate new policy that could be a major boost for Rust Belt cities struggling to build a knowledge-based economy.

The "high skill immigration zone" proposal is brewing at the grassroots stage, with growing interest among Rust Belt economic development organizations, policy experts, chambers of commerce, bloggers, as well as with some big tech national leaders.

Hopefully, one or more of the candidates will pick-up and champion the "High Skill Immigration Zone" proposal.

The upcoming April 1st H1B visa filing window will once again open and shut on the first day of the filing period.

This will unfortunately again expose the failure of immigration policy to meet the demands of high-tech, high-growth business in the U.S. attempting to create jobs in the U.S. and compete globally.

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