people who can innovate and build – re-
gardless of country origin.
Consider these facts:
• More than 600,000 US manufacturing
jobs are unfilled today because work-
ers don’t possess the right skills. Mod-
ern manufacturing requires an increas-
ingly advanced skill set, one that too
few US workers currently possess;
• To compete in the global economy, US
manufacturers need a skilled workforce
now – the right person with the right
Studies such as the Immigration Policy Center’s “The Migrant Integration
Policy Index (MIPEX III): What the Results Mean for the U.S.,” reveals that nations
focused more on integration benefit in areas of competitiveness, innovation
and entrepreneurship.
Historically, prosperous countries (the United States included) attract immigrants
seeking opportunity. These adventurous individuals contribute to the nation they
wish to claim as home.
Look at US history: Immigrants have been essential to economic growth, as Jay
Timmons indicates. But in the 21st century, an alarm has sounded: Do illegal
immigrants contribute, or do they cost tax-payers? In 2007 illegal immigrants far
outnumbered legal ones (by as much as 12 million). Debate involves deporta-
tion vs. integration, as well as the economic implication. Some say granting cit-
izenship counterbalances any economic advantage; others claim that depor-
tation could reduce GDP by more than 50 percent, according to the MIPEX study.
The issue begs less passion and more pragmatism: Should the US tightly clamp
its doors or develop a policy more in tune with 21st century circumstances?
“[US] Immigration policies are
outdated, inefficient, and an impediment
to competitiveness, particularly
for manufacturers.”
skills at the right time;
• In response, manufacturers try to close
the skills gap in a number of ways (e.g.,
better education and training programs
[by partnering with educational institu-
tions, the military, and other organiza-
tions]), but they are looking at a long-
term solution. Training and education
take time.
Keep the Door Open
The United States has a history of opening
its doors. Men and women who arrived on
our shores in hopes of a better life made
incredible contributions to our economy.
In fact, immigrants started some of the
nation’s most prominent businesses, ac-
cording to a study conducted by the
Partnership for a New American Econ-
omy (an entity that includes business and
civic leaders). The study revealed that
more than 40 percent of Fortune 500
companies were either started by an im-
migrant or an immigrant’s offspring.
American manufacturing enterprises
founded by immigrants span all sectors
– technology, steel, chemicals, and med-
ical devices, among many others. Impact
is as widespread: the study demon-
strated that major companies founded by
immigrants or children of immigrants
have an economic impact larger than the
entire economies of all but two of our
largest competitors (Japan and China).
But US immigration laws make such
past successes more difficult today.
Too often, when talented students
from abroad receive their education and
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