Manufacturing Needs Visa Reform To Compete

"If current trends persist, more than 90% of the world's engineers will live in Asia as early as 2010," explains John Engler, president, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). And this has Engler worried. How will the U.S. secure high-skill graduates with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math?

"We simply can't expect to compete if we tie one hand behind our back. It's vitally important that U.S. companies have access to the talent they need via an H-1B visa and employment-based immigration system that's free of arbitrary quotas, processing delays and backlogs that undermine U.S. competitiveness," says Engler.

Engler points out that the H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2006 was reached two months before the fiscal year even began.

In his weekly letter on the NAM website Engler advises the Senate that when it reviews the immigrant bill it should enhance, " U.S. competitiveness though reforms to the H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs, so that U.S. companies have greater access to highly educated foreign talent."

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