By Emi Kolawole
Now that President Obama is fresh off of his reelection victory, immigration reform, while somewhat overshadowed by the impending “fiscal cliff,” is among the first issues he has said his administration will tackle. In his first news conference after the election, the president said that it was time to “seize the moment” and realize comprehensive immigration reform. Talk of such reform, however, has centered around how to tackle the challenge of illegal immigration. Talk of skilled immigration is not conducted at nearly the same decibel-level in Washington even as tech company chiefs continue to express their frustration over the apparent lack of qualified talent.
The author of the “The Immigrant Exodus,” has, along with others, advocated for a change to the nation’s immigration policy to give skilled immigrants, many of whom are educated in the United States, a more efficient pathway to permanent residency or citizenship. If changes to the system are not enacted soon, the United States, he fears, may lose its competitive edge.
”It’s a big loss for the U.S.,” said Wadhwa of the phenomenon where skilled immigrants, many of whom are educated in the United States, get frustrated with the immigration system and return to their home countries to start companies or look for permanent employment.