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Without immigration progress, America loses big

After months of delay and distraction, Washington is finally grappling with the question of immigration reform, and D...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 7:32 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 7:32 PM

After months of delay and distraction, Washington is finally grappling with the question of immigration reform, and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in particular.

The struggle has many people talking about a potential government shutdown.

DACA employees boost our economy. According to the Center for American Progress, 91% are employed and 75% of America's biggest companies count a DACA recipient among their employees. If the program ends, almost 700,000 workers would no longer be able to add to our economy or tax revenue.

That's why major tech leaders, including Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, have asked Congress to defend DACA workers. We need these immigrant innovators. Without them, the US tech industry -- which has created 4.7 million jobs and $1.9 trillion in output in 2015 alone, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) -- will suffer.

Even if the White House and Congress manage to come to a consensus on DACA, the basic problems plaguing our immigration system remain. The system is broken for both illegal and legal immigration. Our H-1B visa cap is far too low: only 85,000 visas are available, and applications hit that cap within four days of the system opening.

The failures of our system are not lost on other countries. A Canadian private-sector firm is snapping up US startups. France has developed a visa expressly for tech innovators. Britain has increased its Exceptional Talent visas by 100%. The competition for top talent is stiff -- and it will only grow more intense in the years to come.

From a business perspective, especially in technology fields, this means that the United States is essentially training the world's best and brightest at our universities and then forcing them to move to other countries to develop innovative products and services. No matter how ingenious an innovator might be or how groundbreaking her concept, she'll be summarily forced to leave if she doesn't win the visa lottery.

According to the Kauffman Foundation, 48% of international students want to remain in the US after graduation. These students, hoping for gainful employment and opportunity, note job prospects as their reason for wanting to stay.

Many of the international innovators at CES- 2018 -- the world's largest tech event, owned and produced by CTA and which took place last week in Las Vegas -- studied here and would like to stay and expand their companies in America, but our system will allow few to do so.

But stay they should, and here's why. As of 2016, according to the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants founded over 50% of US startups with profits totaling $1 billion or more. They hold leadership or development roles in 70% of such companies -- each of which provides an average of 760 US jobs.

Congress cannot afford to waste any more time. The last time Congress changed the basic structure of our immigration system was 1990 -- long before the internet revolutionized the way we innovate, connect and hire. We need a flexible, nimble system that can evolve along with the changing needs of the job market -- and we need it now.

We must reverse course to attract and retain the world's most ingenious innovators by making the most of our diversity. CTA just released an International Innovation Scorecard that ranks countries on the strength of their innovation economies. Despite America's historic reputation as an international melting pot and the shining city on a hill, Canada, Singapore and Sweden all boast a more diverse workforce than ours. We need to address this ranking by supporting women in management positions and encouraging high-skilled immigration.

We have good ideas on the table. Legislation such as the Bipartisan Startup Act and initiatives such as the International Entrepreneur Rule can also help us increase new venture funding and attract brilliant entrepreneurs to our shores. We need to entice more women into STEM and make executive diversity a focus and a strength.

As Americans, we want to be a people known for our compassion and openness. If Congress can work with President Trump and cut a deal that expands highly skilled immigration and lets us keep our blameless, extraordinary young immigrants, it will be a great triumph -- for the tech industry, jobs, the economy and America as a whole. More, it will show the world that we're open for business and ready to welcome anyone with a great idea and the guts to make it happen.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65436

Reported Deaths: 1848
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5487116
DeSoto352328
Madison238763
Harrison237835
Rankin222032
Jackson220142
Jones184258
Forrest172155
Washington158237
Lauderdale139090
Lee133232
Neshoba127891
Lamar118414
Bolivar116333
Oktibbeha109037
Lowndes103935
Warren100731
Scott98720
Panola98012
Sunflower96723
Copiah94128
Lafayette93714
Leflore89362
Pike87734
Holmes86348
Grenada83021
Yazoo80712
Pontotoc7918
Lincoln79041
Leake77925
Simpson77930
Wayne74921
Monroe74751
Coahoma69711
Tate69227
Marion63819
Marshall6389
Covington60713
Winston60415
Adams60225
Union56215
George5484
Newton53511
Pearl River52037
Attala51324
Walthall48919
Noxubee44411
Chickasaw44119
Tallahatchie40710
Calhoun4009
Claiborne39913
Smith39413
Prentiss3869
Alcorn3825
Clay38214
Jasper3819
Hancock36314
Tishomingo3505
Itawamba33710
Tippah32513
Clarke32425
Tunica3176
Montgomery3073
Yalobusha30710
Lawrence3067
Humphreys28211
Carroll25411
Quitman2401
Greene23111
Kemper22815
Jefferson Davis2266
Amite2206
Perry2207
Webster21612
Jefferson1946
Wilkinson19413
Sharkey1903
Stone1633
Benton1330
Choctaw1304
Franklin1162
Issaquena251
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12486232
Mobile9420204
Montgomery6449148
Madison516130
Tuscaloosa405769
Baldwin338023
Unassigned319060
Shelby316432
Marshall306034
Lee258844
Morgan229517
Etowah204128
DeKalb174513
Calhoun167213
Elmore167238
Walker149864
Houston134812
Dallas130523
St. Clair128915
Russell12772
Limestone126113
Franklin123820
Cullman118912
Colbert114113
Lauderdale112315
Autauga105021
Escambia104416
Talladega96713
Jackson9244
Tallapoosa84179
Chambers83538
Dale80223
Blount7593
Butler75635
Chilton7456
Coffee7365
Covington71620
Pike6877
Lowndes56724
Barbour5655
Marion56224
Marengo53614
Clarke4949
Hale46426
Bullock45011
Winston44011
Perry4364
Wilcox41410
Bibb4134
Monroe4084
Randolph39410
Conecuh37810
Pickens3779
Sumter36018
Lawrence3321
Macon32013
Washington32012
Crenshaw3123
Choctaw27712
Cherokee2587
Greene24911
Henry2493
Geneva2480
Clay2375
Lamar2122
Fayette1835
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
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