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On Immigration, Don’t Hold Economy Hostage to Politics

October 25, 2012 (1 min read)

Bloomberg News Editorial, Oct. 25, 2012: "It is both remarkable and disgraceful that Congress understands the problem.  It hears of little else from companies, including General Electric Co., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., and yet can’t seem to separate the issue of highly skilled immigrants from the wider and genuinely difficult aspects of immigration policy.  Cold political calculations by both parties are holding back reform.  House Republicans arranged a floor vote last month on a measure that would have offered more residency visas to immigrants with advanced science, technology, engineering and math degrees, but set it up to fail by reducing the number of visas overall (which Democrats oppose).  For their part, Democrats think it best to hold the skilled-immigration rules hostage until they can get a more comprehensive agreement (which Republicans tend to resist).  We favor comprehensive reform, too, but not if the result is total paralysis, with intolerable costs to the economy.  Making progress where agreement is slender or nonexistent is hard enough, as Congress has proved.  Failing to make progress where agreement exists -- on a policy issue of surpassing importance -- is unforgivable."