Houston Attorney Buttresses Study Results: Immigration Benefits Economy
Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2014 - Suppressing the total number of H-1B visa immigrants in the United States would actually result in fewer U.S. job opportunities overall.
As members of Congress consider immigration reform, businesses dependent on a significant quotient of foreign-born, highly skilled workers gird their loins. There is a very real possibility that the federal government will further curtail the number of H-1B visas available. These visas are necessary for these educated individuals to come to the United States to work.
Reform would certainly damage opportunities for foreign-born workers. But if more restrictive legislation passes, recent studies have shown that the U.S. employment market would suffer as well.
Setting aside any theories on the economic ramifications of a more restrictive H-1B policy, the evidence of a strong demand for the visas is quite clear. In 2013, the government received 124,000 applications for the visas in the first four days after Washington began accepting them on April 1. The offices stopped accepting further petitions on April 5. The government sets an annual cap of 85,000 new visas -- 65,000 of which are reserved for those with at least a bachelor’s degree and another 20,000 for those with at least a master’s degree.
“It is quite clear that the government’s available supply of H-1B visas has fallen far short of the demand for them,” said Annie Banerjee, a prominent Houston immigration attorney. “The shortage has been most acutely felt in industries with a demand for so-called STEM workers, or those with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Banerjee cites evidence from a 2013 study conducted by a coalition of companies, research institutions and universities. According to the report, a suppression in the number of H-1B-admitted STEM workers would dampen employment in the United States. Statistically, when U.S. firms are not able to hire the skilled immigrants they seek, they often leave positions vacant or hire abroad instead.
On the start-up level, the report found that 25 percent of all high-technology firms launched in this country since 1995 have had at least one foreign-born founder. That figure has translated into an employment base of 450,000 people and sales worth more than $50 billion. Indeed, immigrants or their children have established 40 percent of today’s Fortune 500 firms.
Beyond the tangible figures, however, it has been estimated that a restriction in the number of foreign-born, educated immigrants not only results in a loss of new concepts and innovations, but also of new job creation that the presence of these talented immigrants stimulates.
“The hiring of foreign-born, skilled, educated workers has a positive multiplier effect on the employment market," Banerjee added. "In addition to the employment growth made possible by their innovative contributions, there is ancillary employment growth in firms that do business with those companies.”
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139
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