Other voices: Immigration fix should address vacant tech jobs in U.S.

When the topic is immigration, Democrats and Republicans alike continue to focus almost entirely on a single question: what to do about the millions of low-skill immigrants – mostly from Latin America – who are in the U.S. illegally.

While this certainly needs to be addressed, the economic slowdown in Europe – and to a lesser degree that in China – raises another, perhaps more important, question: What can and should the U.S. do to attract more well-educated young workers to the U.S. from overseas, where they could help us fill thousands of technical jobs that now go begging?

Let’s be clear: Unfilled jobs don’t enhance our economy. To the contrary, they’re a drag. And despite the large number of Americans still looking for full-time employment, many companies – including some of the biggest names in technology – are still having problems filling certain positions.

Microsoft alone reported some 6,000 tech vacancies in a recent white paper on the need to develop a “National Talent Strategy.” So why not fill these jobs with eager newcomers from abroad? It would boost our economy, creating additional jobs for U.S. workers in the process.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…