Tech Lobby Sees Chance for More Visas

“Silicon Valley is upbeat that in 2013, Washington will finally deliver a fix for its high-skilled immigration woes, shaking off its fatalism over failed attempts in the past. A lot has changed since the last big push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, industry leaders say. The public and Congress are more supportive of addressing the skills gap. Entrepreneurs are ready to use social media to step up the pressure. And tech leaders are organizing like never before to secure commitments from congressional leaders on specifics,” Politico reports.

Rubio Plan Expands Mandatory E-Verify Nationally

“Stuck within the pages of Sen. Marco Rubio’s bipartisan immigration reform bill is a measure that would expand the use of a national government database on American workers . . .If Mr. Rubio’s bill passes, employers nationwide would be prohibited from hiring any workers who have not been cleared through the federal E-Verify system,” the Washington Times says.

It Takes a Harvard Economist to Make An Argument This Bad

“As an economist, I am often surprised at the hostility that some segments of the population express toward immigration. Most members of my profession are far more receptive to it, and for three main reasons,” says N. Gregory Mankiw, former advisor to President Bush in the New York Times.

“The competition from foreign-born economists makes it harder for American economists to get the best positions. But it would be hypocritical for American economists to argue against such competition, as we have long preached that nations are better off over all when they pursue a policy of free and open trade. This principle applies not only to manufactured goods like textiles and aircraft but also to labor services, including lectures on economics.”

“I understand that not all workers in the United States will embrace foreign-born competitors with the same equanimity as a Harvard professor. That is especially true of those with fewer skills and opportunities.”

Less Population Pressure in Latin America May Mean Reduced Migration

“It’s not a coincidence that sub-replacement countries — such as Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica — send the U.S. barely any immigrants at all. The vast majority of our immigrants come from above-replacement countries, such as Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. But even though they’re still above-replacement, those countries are witnessing epic fertility declines too,” Jonathan Last says in the LA Times.

“Consider Mexico, which over the last 30 years has sent roughly two-thirds of all the immigrants — legal and illegal — who came to the United States. In 1970, the Mexican fertility rate was 6.72. Today, it’s hovering at the 2.1 mark — a drop of nearly 70% in just two generations. And it’s still falling.”

“Certainly some of [the decline in illegal immigration] can be attributed to the Great Recession, particularly the slowdown in construction and the housing industry. But we may also be witnessing the beginning of a structural change in our immigration relationship, as Mexico’s demographic profile comes to resemble Puerto Rico’s.”