To maintain America’s place as the global hub of innovation, our immigration system must be modernized to recruit and retain top talent. Business Roundtable supports policies such as expanding the H-1B visa program for temporary high-skill workers, and increasing the number of available employment-based green cards.

Staying competitive with international competitors requires finding the most-qualified candidates from across the globe.

Most Americans agree that the future of the U.S. economy depends on the ability of its businesses to compete globally. One of the key factors that allow U.S. employers to grow their businesses and create new jobs is their ability to recruit and retain talent from other countries. How well does the current U.S. employment-based immigration system support this goal? Based on original research and analysis, Business Roundtable found that the United States falls short when compared to other advanced economies.

"Outdated laws that limit our nation’s ability to recruit and retain talent hold back our economy, suppress job growth, and give an unnecessary advantage to countries that are America’s economic rivals.

Every time the U.S. turns away a highly talented foreign worker, our nation loses ground in the global race for talent…[I]f we continue to let our current employment-based immigration laws work to the benefit of our foreign competitors, more and more of this rich history of innovation will be written outside the United States."

Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions

Read the Article in the Hill

Based on a comprehensive examination of 10 advanced economies to identify and evaluate the best immigration policies to promote economic growth, the United States ranked 9th out of 10 competitor countries, ahead of only Japan, a country historically closed to outsiders. This analysis found that America’s near-bottom ranking among major advanced economies is due to U.S. laws and regulations that impose unrealistic numerical limits and excessive bureaucratic rules on hiring workers that the country’s economy needs. 

Many economists agree that immigration leads to a positive net impact on the U.S. economy, but restrictions on the number of employment-based visas and the costs of employer sponsorships are preventing businesses from hiring the workers they need across all skill levels. Particularly for high-skilled jobs, these limitations prevent U.S. companies from recruiting the best talent to stay competitive with other countries. In 2018, more than 190,000 people applied for just 85,000 available high-skill H-1B visas.

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