October 1, 2012
THE ELECTORAL ISSUE: America’s immigration policy does not attract and retain high-skilled immigrants and it does not address the fate of the estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living here.
THE CHALLENGE: How to secure the border, manage undocumented immigrants and admit immigrant workers of all skill-levels without undermining the domestic job market.
There are approximately 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in America. Their impact on the budget is disputable. A study from conservative group FAIR asserts that undocumented immigrants cost U.S. taxpayers $113 billion per year. The Congressional Budget Office has found that the impact “is most likely modest.”
Highly-skilled immigrants are in high demand in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the so-called STEM fields). Many immigrants come to America to study these disciplines but must leave when their student visa expires, a policy described by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “national suicide.”