Congress must bring more high-skilled workers to AmericaThe Washington Examiner
As the midterm elections approach, immigration policy is back in the news. With rising migration at the southern border and the Biden administration’s pending decision to lift Title 42 public health restrictions, illegal immigration will likely be a campaign issue in the months ahead. But there’s one aspect of immigration policy that deserves strong bipartisan support: increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants able to work in the United States.
Over the past decade, the U.S. has faced a shortage of workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math.
From artificial intelligence and quantum computing to the defense industrial base, our lack of qualified STEM workers has created obstacles and bottlenecks for innovation and growth in high-tech industries. Expansions in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, a priority for both the Biden administration and Congress, face similar obstacles due to high-skilled labor shortages.
Legislation being negotiated between the House and the Senate in a conference committee seeks to boost America’s global competitiveness in key industries. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act in the Senate and the America COMPETES Act in the House include significant funding for supply chain resiliency and scientific research. The legislation also includes over $50 billion in subsidies to spur investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
Ironically, it is uncertain whether the forthcoming legislation will address the high-skilled labor shortage hindering domestic manufacturing.
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