America’s immigration system does not meet our needs and has not done so for years. A recent study found that reform measures like those featured in the bill just passed by the U.S. Senate would add $903 million to the North Carolina economy and create over 11,000 jobs – in the first year alone. I am hopeful that the U.S. House of Representatives can seize the opportunity that will lie before it and pass a workable immigration reform plan this year.
North Carolina has one of the best higher education systems in America, world-renowned colleges and universities that turn out thousands of highly skilled, job-ready graduates every year. But tragically, out-of-touch visa allocations frequently make it impossible for foreign-born North Carolina alums – including many with the science, technology, engineering and math training that economy-driving high-tech companies need – to stay here and put their talents to work for American companies. This is just one of the glaring inequities in our immigration system and one of the many valid arguments in favor of Congress passing immigration reform legislation.