The March jobs report was a stubborn reminder that America’s economic recovery remains fragile. And while securing 61 consecutive months of job growth is an impressive accomplishment in the wake of the Great Recession, the disappointing report underscores just how important it is to deploy every tool we have to keep our economy growing.
Like many Americans, I see immigration reform as a moral imperative and a social good. It is important, however, that we not lose sight of how implementing common sense immigration policies can spur economic growth, increase wages for American workers, and create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs for American workers across the country.
There is perhaps no place in America where increasing skilled immigration would provide greater benefits than here in Houston. As a hub for American innovation perhaps only second to Silicon Valley, Houston is a magnet for high-skilled engineering jobs in the energy and information technology sectors. Yet, nearly half of the job openings that require science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills go unfilled in the Houston area. And every job that goes unfilled has a cascading impact throughout the regional and national economy.