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Americans Want Immigration Reform, But Also Skilled Foreign Workers, Poll*Finds

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Unread 05.14.10, 06:04 AM
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Americans Want Immigration Reform, But Also Skilled Foreign Workers, Poll*Finds

05.13.10 07:01 PM

The controversial new Arizona immigration law and the proposal that was presented in the United States Congress in response may have stirred a lot of emotions on both sides of the issue, but Americans seem to agree on at least some aspects of immigration.

A poll conducted by Zogby International for TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, has shown that two in three Americans are in favor of improving the nation’s high-skilled immigration system.

Specifically, 66 percent of respondents believe that it’s acceptable to hire highly-skilled individuals from other countries through the nation’s legal immigration process if an American is not available to fill jobs that require high-level engineering or science skills.

Only 20 percent believe that the job should be left open indefinitely.

"These survey results show strong support for a high-skilled immigration system that can help drive economic growth and job creation," said Rey Ramsey, president and CEO of TechNet. He added that companies like Google, Intel, eBay and Yahoo! were founded by immigrants.

Ramsey also said that "high-skilled immigrants play a vital role in American competitiveness abroad and job creation–we need public policies that reflect this fact."

The immigration reform proposal recently unveiled by Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), includes provisions to offer permanent-resident status to every foreigner with an advanced degree in science or technology from an American university.

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