When it comes to attracting the best and the brightest to lead innovative industries in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the United States is no longer the first choice on everyone’s list. The supply and demand for these top-tier workers is growing by leaps and bounds. The 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) are now competing for the very same talent we are every day.
A new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) explains that OCED countries realize attracting individuals from this talented global talent pool can propel both firms and economies into a higher level of worldwide competition and growth. And that’s not our only challenge. As developing countries continue to grow, their immigration policies become less bureaucratic, which opens up even more destinations for those looking for top-paying, international careers.
As the rest of the world is welcoming international talent with open arms, what does this mean for the United States? Trouble. Our current immigration system is frozen and inert. Because Congress has not made any significant changes for the past 20 years, our innovation economy has stopped attracting and retaining skilled workers from the global talent pool. In addition to the necessary internal immigration policy changes needed for our nation to become an inclusive and welcoming country, we must also design policies that pinpoint the immigrants who have the best chance for success and determine ways to encourage them to remain.
The MPI report explains, “The role of employees in both attracting and selecting immigrants is crucial. Immigration policy is not a two-way relationship between governments and immigrants, but a three-way interaction in which employers are front and center.” U.S. employers create the jobs and opportunities for a skilled global workforce and must be included in the discussions leading to immigration policy change.
Because global competition is only becoming more cutthroat, our immigration policy needs to become nimble, straightforward and accountable. We are putting our competitive advantage in peril as a world leader if we don’t work to bring our immigration system into the 21st century.
Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.
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