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2014: The Defining Year for Immigration?

Pradeep Shankar
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Pradeep Shankar
If 2013 was a busy year for immigration, 2014 could perhaps be a turning point. The drive for immigration reform has seemingly taken momentum after Obama's State of the Union Address.

Given the unpredictability of the U.S. Immigration agencies, our outdated immigration laws and the highly charged and often divisive legislative debate, there are serious efforts to push through immigration reform.

The deficiencies in our immigration system have become particularly evident as the economy has improved. Economists overwhelmingly say that improving the immigration system will lead to stronger growth. And no one would suggest that having millions of people living in the shadows, in uncertain status, is good for them or our nation.

As uncertainty shrouds the reform effort, one point that remains clear is that, with respect to the U.S. talent needs at the higher skills levels, the present situation is untenable.

The current immigration system has posed serious mobility challenges for companies operating in the United States. Multinational companies face a constant stream of obstacles in moving skilled talent around the world quickly and efficiently enough to meet business imperatives.
Consider the IT sector for instance—a key driver of innovation and economic strength in this country. Wages are strong and unemployment is relatively low; tech hiring is very robust. Yet there simply are not enough people with the right skills to fill the jobs that employers are creating.

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