. . . stimulate investment, and promote specialization that in the long run boosts productivity. . .  there is no evidence that these effects take place at the expense of jobs for workers born in the United States.”

So says economist Giovanni Pero of the University of California, Davis, in a report on the impact of the H-1B visa published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

This Forbes article highlights differing approaches to the H-1B (or lack thereof) problem by the House of Representatives and Senate.  The House’s ‘Skills Visa Act’ removes barriers to IT outplacement firms currently facing H-1B dependency restrictions.  The Senate Bill, famously passed last June but which languishes somewhere deep in the Milky Way, keeps the screws to H-1B dependent employers.  Senate Democrats surely insist.

These seemingly subtle differences differences reflect fragmented policy approaches to the economics of immigration.  Protectionism complicates progress in a global economy.  To some, America’s composition is at issue.  To others, competitiveness.  The sensible approach incorporates both policy prescriptions without pandering to special interests (unions, primarily) or xenophobia.  The Great Immigration Stalemate continues.

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