Neil Ruiz

This past Tuesday was International Migrants Day, declared by the United Nations to honor the contributions and sacrifices that international migrants make to both their destination and origin countries. As I’ve written previously, migrants are “economic ambassadors” that contribute to the growth of two economies simultaneously because they are more likely to be sending remittances--personal flows of money sent across international borders--to family members in their countries of origin. As many of us rush into the shopping malls this weekend for last minute gifts, the millions of migrants liv

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The 2012 elections illustrated how the emergence of a new American mainstream played an important role in re-electing President Obama, potentially opening the door for debate, compromise, and action on immigration reform. This past Wednesday, President Obama expressed confidence that immigration reform is possible early in the beginning of his second term. Despite a divided Congress, it is in the interest of both sides of the aisle to fix America’s immigration system.  Three main issues bear consideration: Agreement found in high-skilled immigration.

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with Shyamali Choudhury and Katie Morris Last week’s research release event for “The Search for Skills: Demand for H-1B Immigrant Workers in U.S. Metropolitan Areas” was a spirited and intelligent debate about national policy combined with some thoughtful analysis by regional actors. The conversation highlighted differing opinions about the need for high-skilled foreign labor, important areas of agreement, as well as the need for further research. Based on this discussion, we’ve identified five keys for future productive, pragmatic debate on the H-1B program.

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with Shyamali Choudhury Last Thursday, presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his new “softened” immigration plan, and called for lifting the cap on visas for high-skilled temporary workers. This year, the H-1B high-skilled worker visa cap was reached within two months after the application period opened.

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Ready. Set. Stop! Over the past week, American employers have been sprinting to the finish line to submit their H-1B applications for fiscal year 2013. It took only 10 weeks this year to reach the FY2013 visa cap of 85,000. Last year, it took more than three times longer, 33 weeks.  From Silicon Valley to America’s heartland, H-1B workers provide both large and small American companies with specialized skills in information technology, science, engineering, medicine, and other fields. This temporary visa program is used by U.S.

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Ready. Set. Go. Last week, the first business day of April marked the starting line for the race against the H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2013, and 22,000 applications have already been filed in the first four days--the fastest rate since 2009. The H-1B visa program is used by employers in the America to provide temporary visas for up to six years for foreigners in specialty occupations.  H-1B applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but in many instances they have master’s and doctoral degrees.  H-1B visas are used by employers throughout America to acquire skills in informatio

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The holiday season is here and that means gift giving time. As many Americans hit the shopping malls or online stores to look for that perfect gift for their loved ones, gift giving is different for about 40 million of America’s immigrants. Not only do they buy gifts for families who may be living with them, but they are more likely to be sending remittances--personal flows of money sent across international borders--to fellow family members in their countries of origin. A recent World Bank study estimates that globally $483 billion will be sent as remittances in 2011, four times the amount of

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Since the recession global engagement--especially in the form of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI)--has been a needed antidote to sluggish domestic growth in numerous U.S. regions. The reason is clear: More than ever, as our work keeps stressing, nations and regions prosper by linking up with often faster-growing global markets. Interacting with other nations can offer all at once markets for exporting American-made products, capital for new and established companies, participation in global supply chains, and people with skills. One U.S.

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This week, Congress took a small step in reforming America’s out-dated immigration system. In H.R.

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Despite the shock of the recent Great Recession, Washington continues to neglect one important asset that America has over other nations: people. Whether they are Americans or non-Americans, recent immigrants or fourth-generation Americans, skilled or unskilled, the mobility of people in and out of a country plays a key role in today’s global economy.  Last week’s Economist cover story, “The Magic of Diasporas,” reveals the critical role of immigrant networks in the global production process. Whether it’s through the transfer of knowledge, creating new innovative technologies, or attracting fo

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