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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Friday, May 31, 2013

More Facts for Gang of Eight, Ted Cruz Opposes

The Washington Post
By Jennifer Rubin, Updated: May 31, 2013
  
Facts are stubborn things. No matter how hard the anti-immigrant forces spin, evidence of the economic benefits of immigration keeps pouring in.

National Journal reports:

Between 2002 and 2009, immigrants — citizens or not — contributed $115 billion more to Medicare than they used, according to a new study in Health Affairs, the reputable health policy journal. The U.S.-born, on the other hand, generated a $28 billion deficit. Immigrants, it turns out, may be helping to delay a budget reckoning. 

There are plenty of potential reasons for the outsized contributions to Medicare, the authors write. The ratio of working-age to retirement-age adults is much higher for immigrants — 6.5 to 1 — than the U.S.-born — 4.7 to 1. Immigrants also have lower unemployment rates. And even undocumented immigrants may pay into the program through taxes tied to Social Security numbers with fake or borrowed names. All that means there are plenty of immigrant workers to pay into Medicare through payroll taxes.

There are also reasons that immigrants may use the program less. Some legal immigrants may not be eligible for Medicare because they don’t meet minimum residency or work requirements. And studies show that immigrants use less health care in general than the U.S.-born.

Well, there go more anti-immigrant attacks by the wayside. If immigrants are net contributors and if they work more than native-born Americans, what exactly is the problem letting them stay here?

When anti-immigration-reform advocates are honest, they tell us the problem is not faulty border-security measures or any other particular item in the immigration-reform plan by the Senate’s Gang of Eight. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) again confessed that a path to citizenship is a “poison pill.” In other words, the only attainable bill will never get the extremists’ support.

Even with perfect border security, Cruz still would not want to allow people here illegally of whatever duration a path to citizenship. As a law-and-order guy (as he keeps telling us), Cruz’s preference would be to deport millions of people (even extremists admit some will not leave willingly).

The absolutism of their position (no legalization for anyone) is to the advantage of the Gang of Eight. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is meeting with other Republicans, as he pledged to do, to strengthen border-security provisions and address other concerns that could make the bill acceptable to more colleagues. But there are those on the right who don’t care about the facts, economic or otherwise, and for whom border security is a ruse to stop a bill that would grant citizenship to anyone who came here illegally. For such voices, there is no study or deal that will suffice. If Rubio and the rest of the Gang of Eight are to succeed, they’ll just have to outvote their die-hard opponents.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Immigration Reform Could Fail Just Like Gun Control Did. Here's Why.


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By Aaron Blake, Updated: May 31, 2013

Poll after poll shows a strong majority of Americans — upward of two-thirds, in some polls — support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

So how could anybody vote against it?

The answer is actually pretty simple, and it’s the same reason that a very popular gun-control proposal failed two months ago.

It’s because there’s not much downside to voting ‘no.’

The topline numbers in all these polls are striking — just as they were during the gun debate, when 90 percent of Americans supported increased background checks. But those topline numbers don’t really tell the story.


The poll shows 54 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship, while 29 percent favor deporting illegal immigrants. (Other polls, we should note, have shown even stronger support for a path to citizenship.)

Yet, when it comes to how Congressional members’ votes would actually affect their chances of reelection, it’s a total wash. About a quarter of those polled (26 percent) say they are more likely to support a member if he or she supports a path to citizenship, and about a quarter (24 percent) say they are less likely to support him or her.

The numbers closely match those from this month’s Washington Post-ABC News poll, which showed 58 percent supported a path to citizenship. When it boiled down to it, though, just 23 percent said they supported a path to citizenship and could not vote for someone who opposed it, and 24 percent said they opposed a path and could not vote for someone who supported it.

In other words, there’s not much to be lost — individually and in the near term, at least — for congressional Republicans who oppose immigration reform, even as a strong majority of Americans support that goal. It’s the same phenomenon we saw with gun control, where opponents were much more adamant — and punitive — than proponents.

And if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find there’s plenty for Republicans to lose by supporting a path to citizenship.

According to the Post-ABC poll, 37 percent of Republicans say voting for a path to citizenship is a deal-breaker for them, while 12 percent say voting against it is a deal-breaker.

The Q poll, similarly, shows that 36 percent of Republicans would be less likely to support someone who votes for a path to citizenship, while 15 percent would be more likely.

In other words, for Republicans whose districts are so red that they only have to worry about their primaries — which is about two-thirds or three-fourths of House Republicans — it seems clear that voting against immigration reform is actually the more politically expedient path.

Now, none of this addresses the real reason Republicans feel the need to pass immigration reform — the party’s long-term appeal to Hispanic voters. And there will be some GOP members who feel strongly that they need to pass immigration reform for that and other reasons.

But politicians are always leery of taking votes that could cost them a reelection, and it’s often much easier to vote ‘no.’

In the end, it’s quite possible that a vast majority of House Republicans will arrive at that calculation. And it could very well be the reason that immigration reform fails — just as gun control did.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Where Immigration Reform Stands Now

New America Media
By Elena Shore
May 30, 2013

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed out of committee an imperfect immigration bill that advocates say is the best shot they have to modernize the U.S. immigration system. The bill now heads to the Senate floor, where the Senate is expected to take it up during the week of June 10.

A revised bill could be ready by the end of June.

Here’s a look at some of the amendments added to the Senate’s immigration reform bill after nearly 30 hours of debate.

Family Unity: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved amendments to protect children whose parents have been caught up in immigration actions or who lack a parent or guardian (Al Franken, D-Minn.); allow Border Patrol Officers to use discretion to keep families together at the border, and place child welfare professionals at border patrol stations (Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii).

Affordability: Another amendment proposed by Sen. Hirono allows immigrants who are legalizing their status to pay fines in installments. The $2,000 penalty associated with legalizing one’s status is unaffordable for many.

Same-Sex Couples: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, decided to withdraw an amendment that would have allowed same-sex couples to apply for a green card through their U.S.-citizen partner, after Democrats and Republicans threatened to walk if the amendment was included.

What Remains Intact: Most of the immigration reform bill remains intact, including a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States; a ratcheting up of enforcement on the border and internally; the mandatory use of E-Verify, a federal database to check the immigration status of potential employees; and several changes to visas for future flows of immigrants.

These changes would whittle down family-based visas, eliminating the brother and sister category, and the category for adult married children over 30; eliminate the diversity visa lottery program, which is one of the main ways African immigrants enter the United States; and create a new merit-based visa system that will take into account education, work history and other factors as part of a point system.

Several key agreements were also reached between business and labor, which would create new types of visas, including a “blue card” for agricultural workers and a “W Visa” for other workers. Business and labor groups, however, have not come to an agreement on what to do about temporary workers here on an H1B visa. The ongoing tension is expected to play out on the Senate floor.

Another important element of the Senate bill that remains intact gives judges discretion when determining whether to give an individual legal status or to have him or her deported.

Key Issues to Watch in the Senate Debate

Angela Kelley of the Center for American Progress spoke about the changes during a national telebriefing for ethnic media reporters organized by New America Media. She pointed to four key issues that immigration reform advocates will be watching closely as the Senate takes up the immigration reform debate.

The Border: The Senate bill already includes massive investments in enforcement and border security. Advocates will be watching for triggers that could tie enforcement to the pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, making it harder for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status.

Benefits: Advocates will also be watching to make sure those on the pathway to citizenship are able to access benefits including the child tax credit, and credits for social security down the road for the amount they worked while undocumented.

Biometrics: The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment that would have required a biometric system for non-U.S. citizens, and approved a narrower amendment sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch that would require non-citizens to submit fingerprints when they leave the country. Conservatives on the Senate floor are expected to push for increased use of biometrics to track immigrants.

Burdens: Advocates of immigration reform will also be watching the Senate debate to make sure the new rules don’t become so onerous that they render the prospect of legalization unattainable for many.

What Will the House Bill Look Like?

While immigration reform advances in the Senate, advocates say the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is a different story.

The House -- which like the Senate has its own Gang of Eight, a group of four Democrats and four Republicans -- appears to be making progress toward its own comprehensive bill that includes a pathway to legislation.

The sticking point in the House now is whether to mandate health insurance for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are waiting to begin the citizenship process.

This is “important -- and ironic,” observed Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

It’s important, she said, because a health care requirement “could pose a substantial burden on the 11 million.” The Affordable Care Act bans undocumented immigrants from participating in the government-subsidized health exchanges. That means that if Republicans succeed in mandating health insurance for those on the pathway to legalization, immigrant families would have to purchase their own individual policies.

The irony, noted Kelley, is that Republicans are "asking for a mandate to buy health care insurance, which they opposed in the health reform debate.”

The House is expected to consider immigration reform legislation in July. Even if the House’s Gang of Eight is unsuccessful in reaching a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the House is also looking at several piecemeal bills that would take on E-Verify, the agricultural sector, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs.

After an August recess, the debate is expected to continue into the fall, when members from the House and Senate will meet in a Conference Committee to craft a version of the bill that both chambers can agree on.

The Role of Media: Stay Sober

Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of America’s Voice, compared the current debate with the last time Congress took up immigration reform in 2006 and 2007. There are “not many hard no’s” this time around, she said, adding there are “many people in the middle who are still trying to figure it out.”

With momentum on their side, some pro-immigration reform legislators are even discussing trying to pass the bill with many more than the 60 votes needed in the Senate. But Tramonte cautions against this tactic, saying, “It’s far better to have a good bill with 65 votes than a compromised bill at 75 or 80 votes.”

Despite the momentum, Kelley warns that it’s important for the media that serve U.S. immigrant audiences to remain cautious. With so much excitement over the prospect of immigration reform, some undocumented immigrants could be tempted to pay an unscrupulous notary public or attorney who gives them false promises of legalization.

But there are some things undocumented immigrants can do now to prepare for a possible immigration reform law in the future. Kelley’s advice is to “keep your nose clean,” (getting in trouble with the law will make it harder for an individual to get legalization); “keep your wallet closed” (avoid paying notorious or unscrupulous individuals); “keep records and keep paying taxes” (which can be used as evidence that they were in the country before the cutoff date of Dec. 31, 2011).

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Undocumented in Moore: Why Evangelicals Want Immigration Reform

TIME
By Elizabeth Dias
May 30, 2013

IsaĆ­as Vargas pastors Ciudad de Dios, a Latino evangelical church just a mile from Plaza Towers Elementary, the Oklahoma school that was flattened in last week’s devastating tornado. When the storm hit, Vargas immediately knew his church would become a center point for Latino relief efforts. Soon he learned that nineteen Latino families in the church’s neighborhood suffered total or near total loss. But there was a catch: At least thirteen of the families were undocumented immigrants.

Thirteen families may not seem like much, but it is a lot for a small church of only 50 to 75 people, especially given the enormity of their need. The basic needs of these families are the same as their documented neighbors—water, food, transportation, clothes—but their resources are far more limited. You need a social security number to get FEMA assistance. Applications demand your address, contact numbers and insurance information. In other words, going to FEMA means telling the government you are in the country illegally, and that’s a risk many families are not willing to take.

Fortunately, the broader Latino evangelical community quickly stepped in to offer aid. Felix Cabrera, a pastor at nearby Iglesia Bautista de Quail Springs, Quail Springs Baptist Church, contacted Vargas within hours to offer his church’s help. Cabrera’s congregation is not much larger, but an affiliated non-hispanic church immediately jumped in as well, as did Capitol Hill Baptist Church. “It is a blessing when you see the Anglo church helping the Hispanic ministries,” says Cabrera. “They help us with more than we expected.”

The National Latino Evangelical Coalition also organized a substantial relief effort. NALEC president Gabriel Salguero learned the importance of a specific Latino church relief program after Superstorm Sandy, when the group raised $5 million and worked with FEMA officials to meet the specific needs of undocumented victims. When the tornado hit Moore last week, one of Salguero’s first calls was to Cabrera. Within hours a plan was in place: NALEC would send a team to train Cabrera and other local pastors in disaster relief. Volunteers came from New York, Orlando, and Laredo, Tex., and NALEC began offering technical and administrative support as well as material supplies. Their network of churches across the country provided a natural and speedy donor base. “In our Oklahoma disaster relief efforts we saw first hand how a lack of immigration reform can leave so many with little or no humane recourse,” Salguero says. “As a nation, we can and must do better.”

This story of these thirteen families is yet another reason why evangelical leaders across America continue to fight for immigration reform. Increasingly, immigrant families, documented and undocumented, are in their pews.

Today the Evangelical Immigration Table, a broad coalition of conservative and progressive evangelical leaders and organizations, launched a $250,000 national ad campaign to mobilize constituents for immigration reform. The campaign targets 13 key states, including Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Ohio. The group also is displaying “Pray for Reform” billboards near congressional offices in Florida, North and South Carolina, and Texas.

Salguero led the call with evangelical leaders including Stephan Bauman, president of World Relief, and Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church. All argued that immigration reform is a moral issue that cannot be ignored. “Our broken system has been a moral stain for too long and the time is right for our country to have an immigration system that respects the God given dignity of every human,” Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners and coalition member group, tells TIME.

Their reasons are not just practical. They are theological. Embracing people in need—including the undocumented in America—is core to the gospel message of caring for one’s neighbor, they believe. “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, naked and you clothed me,” Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew. “To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.”

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Driver's-License Dilemma

Wall Street Journal
By Ana Campoy
May 30, 2013

As numerous states consider issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, officials in New Mexico, which already does, say they are struggling to prevent out-of-staters from fraudulently obtaining them.

Until recently, undocumented immigrants were able to obtain driver's licenses or permits only from three states: New Mexico, Washington and Utah. But that number is poised to grow.

The governor of Illinois signed into law in January a bill that grants licenses to those who lack a Social Security number, while the governors of Maryland and Oregon approved such bills earlier this month. Lawmakers in Connecticut passed an immigrant-license law Thursday, which Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to sign.

Similar bills sit on the desks of the governors of Colorado, Vermont and Nevada, while a number of other legislatures are considering the move.

Supporters say granting such licenses makes streets safer, since the immigrants must take a driving test. Some police agencies say the licenses allow them to keep better track of this population. Immigrant advocates say the licenses give this group needed mobility.

"Individuals have to get to jobs and schools," said Melissa Keaney, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group.

Raymond Rael, the police chief in Santa Fe, N.M., said immigrants with licenses are less likely to flee an accident, and more inclined to cooperate with police. "It does improve our relationship with the immigrant community," he said. "It's easier to talk to them if they're stopped for whatever reason."

Opponents said the licenses give legitimacy to people who aren't supposed to be in the country and might be dangerous.

"It really is an open invitation to terrorists, criminals or anyone who wants to create a new identity for themselves," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group that wants to reduce the flow of immigrants.

In New Mexico, where undocumented immigrants have been able to obtain driver's licenses since 2003, some officials say the law has become a headache.

New Mexico investigators recently busted a Mexican immigrant who tried to obtain a license with the help of a criminal ring. The ring, officials said, used fake New Mexico addresses to create fraudulent documents for out-of-state immigrants, charging $2,500 per license.

State police in April arrested the Mexican immigrant, who lived in Georgia. Authorities canceled 40 licenses the ring had helped secure for 40 other immigrants from Latin America.

In another case, two Central American immigrants were arrested in April for applying for licenses using fake residential leases provided by another criminal group. The immigrants, who had paid $1,500 each for help in securing the licenses, found out about the group's services through an ad in a New York newspaper, according to state investigators.

Demesia Padilla, the cabinet secretary at New Mexico's Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the state's Motor Vehicle Division, says it is costly and time-consuming to perform background checks to ensure applicants live in the state, and complains that the department lacks the resources to do the job.

"It's created a lot of operational problems," Ms. Padilla said. "And it's costly."

Some New Mexico lawmakers have launched repeated efforts to repeal the license law, with the support of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. But so far, they have failed.

Ms. Padilla said her agency had to open a fourth office in Albuquerque last year to deal with immigrant licenses. Earlier this year, the agency couldn't investigate a potentially fraudulent ring because it already was busy with two others, she said. "We're doing this full time," she said. "There's not ever a slowdown."

Immigrant advocates counter that state officials opposed to the licenses overstate the fraud problem. "They are very much against it for political reasons, not for practical reasons," said Marcela Diaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a Santa Fe-based immigrant rights group.

Other states that provide licenses to undocumented immigrants say they are taking steps to prevent fraud. The new Maryland law requires applicants to prove they have paid taxes in the state for two years, or that they are a dependent of someone who has, said Buel Young, a spokesman for the state's Motor Vehicle Administration.

The flurry of immigrant license proposals marks a reversal from policies adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which led many states to require driver's-license applicants to submit proof of legal status.

As more states grant licenses to those in the country illegally, fewer undocumented immigrants from other states are likely to seek the documents fraudulently, supporters of such policies said.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Opponents of Immigration Reform Face Changed Landscape

Los Angeles Times
By Lisa Moscaro
May 30, 2013

It's not as if Republican Rep. Steve King missed the message from party leaders about how supporting an immigration overhaul could help boost the GOP's standing among Latino voters.

He just isn't buying it.

"I'm incredulous with the conclusion they drew when the sun came up on the morning of Nov. 7," the firebrand Iowa congressman said the other day, standing outside the Capitol. "They just said that Mitt Romney would be president-elect on that morning if he just hadn't said two words: self-deport."

It was a sparsely attended news conference: Just a handful of hard-line House Republicans protesting the immigration bill a Senate committee was poised to approve.

So it goes these days with the opposition to revamping the immigration system, a movement that has been more muted than six years ago when a similar effort successfully turned back a reform bill.

The opponents this time include a sizable coalition of tea party and conservative leaders, including many local-level talk radio hosts.

NumbersUSA, a group that has long fought to limit immigration, has run radio and television ads in more than a dozen states, seeking to pressure senators to vote against the bill. The organization's president, Roy Beck, brushes off the idea that opposition has waned, noting that polls suggest Americans have mixed feelings about granting citizenship to immigrants. "It seems lonely — just us and the American people," he said.

But the opponents face a much different landscape than six years ago. Not only are key Republicans not overtly attacking the proposal, but support appears much more solid among Democrats, who had also played a role in dashing earlier efforts.

The growing influence of the Latino electorate, which spurned Romney to help reelect President Obama, and the defeat of much of Arizona's strict anti-immigration law in the Supreme Court, "created a lot of running room for Republicans to come to the table," said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a center-left think tank in Washington.

Republicans as well as Democrats have become more comfortable with offering legal status to an estimated 11 million people who have entered the U.S. illegally or stayed beyond their visas.

The lawmakers are being nudged along, in part, by the stories being told by young people brought to the United States as children who have become adults without legal status. These young adults, who call themselves "Dreamers," after the Dream Act, a failed legislative effort that would have offered them a route to citizenship, have given a compelling voice to a once largely unheard immigrant population.

Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, an immigration reform advocacy group, recalls that a "sort of death march" took hold of the 2007 legislative effort as both sides found reasons to back away.

"I don't think there are as many shaking Democrats today as there were in 2007," said Angela Kelley, vice president of immigration policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

One other element has weighed heavily on both parties: the White House.

Obama used executive authority last summer to defer deportations of Dreamers who came forward and registered. It was, for many lawmakers, a turning point.

Democrats saw the move as a political win that helped give Obama a 44-percentage-point lead among Latinos over Romney in the election.

Republican leaders have since sought to persuade reluctant colleagues that the time has come for Congress to fix the immigration system, lest Obama take further action on his own — and Democrats seize a permanent advantage among the growing Latino electorate.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has privately pushed a bipartisan group of lawmakers to complete their work on the House's proposed immigration overhaul. "We're not going to be stampeded by the White House or stampeded by the president," he said last week.

King says that there are more Republican lawmakers on his side than the few who stood beside him on that sunny spring day and that he believes more will join to defeat the bill as voters learn about it.

In the NumbersUSA spots, a man's voice argues that an overhaul will allow too many legal immigrants into the U.S. who would then compete with out-of-work Americans for jobs.

The group has enlisted its 2 million members to corner lawmakers at home. "We're hoping to shame the senators: 'You've got these long lines of unemployed Americans, and you're going to pass this sort of bill?'" Beck said.

Like-minded Republican opponents also exist in the Senate, and so far not one beyond the four who helped draft the bill has fully endorsed the overhaul.

King predicted that over time, Republican leaders would join him.

"If they're not on our side," he said, "I'd suggest that they are convertibles."

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anti-Immigrant Advocates Have It Wrong on the Labor Market


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By Jennifer Rubin, Updated: May 30, 2013

Next to Ronald Reagan there is no greater icon in the pantheon of modern conservatives than Milton Friedman.

His name has been taken in vain in the immigration reform debate, so Stephen Moore sets the record straight:

In 1984, when I was working at the Heritage Foundation, I surveyed the top 75 economists in the country on their views on the economics of immigration. There are few issues that economists agree on so universally: The views of the Keynesians and free marketers ran equally about 9 to 1 in favor of immigration.

Friedman responded to the survey by saying that “legal and illegal immigration has a very positive impact on the U.S. economy.” He believed that one of the most powerful forces of freedom was that people could “move across borders and vote with their feet.” He wholly rejected the idea that immigrants are undesirable because they compete with Americans for jobs and lower wages. The free enterprise system, he argued, “created the high wages in the first place.”

Friedman also abhorred the welfare state. Moore responds:

As another late great economist — William Niskanen, a member of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and chairman of the Cato Institute — once put it: “Better to build a wall around the welfare state than the country.”

It is ironic that the right-wingers who argue against protectionism, against the minimum wage, against unions (which inflate wage rates) and against Obamacare want to keep domestic wages artificially high by restricting the labor market (e.g. keeping out immigrant workers). That effort is not only inconsistent with free market principles, but, according to stacks of research, it also is empirically dubious.

The recent buzz that there really isn’t a shortage of science, technology, engineering and math (known collectively as STEM) workers is belied by the experience of hundreds of tech companies that are willing to expend additional money in finding and relocating skilled workers from overseas. There, too, research suggests the anti-immigrant forces are peddling snake oil.

Are these companies are mistaken about a STEM shortage? Jonathan Rothwell and Neil G. Ruiz of Brookings are out with a new study that says no, there really is a reason why U.S. companies have to go overseas:

The vast majority — 90 percent — of H-1B applications are for jobs requiring high-level STEM knowledge. This finding is based on our analysis of Department of Labor survey data on the knowledge needed to perform occupations. The evidence shows that these vacancies are harder to fill than other job openings.

Labor market experts interpret the duration of a job opening as an indicator that qualified candidates are hard to find. Such an interpretation of vacancy survey data is empirically grounded in both historical and many contemporary labor market surveys from private firms and state governments. . . . H-1B workers are paid more than U.S. native-born workers with a bachelor’s degree generally ($76,356 versus $67,301 in 2010) and even within the same occupation and industry for workers with similar experience. This suggests that they provide hard-to-find skills.

In sum, if you believe in free markets, you shouldn’t advocate artificially restricting the U.S. labor market and you should consider the market-driven behavior of a raft of industries. But then again, the anti-immigration forces believe many things that aren’t so. That is the prerogative I suppose, but they shouldn’t invoke Friedman when doing so, and lawmakers should understand what they are saying isn’t supported by evidence.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com