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Study questions high-tech immigration reform

Legislation pending before Congress &quotwould admit foreign computing and engineering (C&E) workers in numbers much greater than historical trends or casual assumptions about future employment levels,&quot according to a recent study from Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration, commissioned by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA). The study, Projected Numbers of Foreign Computer and Engineering Workers Under the Senate’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S.2611), concluded that the estimated number of new, high-tech visas available under S.2611 over the next 10 years could be as many as 1.88 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of new C&E workers needed by the U.S. economy over the decade is 1.25 million. Thus, the study concludes, Congress was considering authorizing enough high-skill visas to fill every C&E job created in the United States over the next decade and still have 630,000 visas left over.

&quotThe report calls into question Congress’ approach to high-skill immigration reform,&quot IEEE-USA President Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr. said. &quotIts analysis provides needed context to the immigration numbers being discussed on Capitol Hill.&quot

The report is available online.