Balancing Interests: Rethinking U.S. Selection of Skilled Immigrants

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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1996 - Social Science - 214 pages
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The Carnegie Endowment's International Migration Policy Program convened a study group to review and develop alternative approaches to the way foreign workers gain access to the United States through the employment-based immigration stream. This study, a product of that effort, focuses on the selection of people admitted under work-related categories of the U.S. immigration system. Chapter 1, "The Role of Immigration in a Changing U.S. Economy," shows the ways in which economic-stream newcomers have a positive influence on U.S. economic, social, and cultural institutions. Their energy and skills contribute disproportionately to American jobs and wealth. Figure 1-5 is entitled "Training and Immigration." However, the current employment-based immigration system described in Chapter 2, "Current U.S. Employment- Related Visa Categories," no longer guarantees that the United States will attract the kind of permanent and temporary workers the country needs. The system has become a bureaucratic nightmare that is focused on short-term goals. Section EB-1-2 deals with "outstanding professors and researchers." Section EB-2 deals with "Immigrants with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability." Chapter 3, "Alternative Models of Economic-Stream Selection: A Critique," outlines some other models for selection, the most effective being a point system to identify people likely to promote economic well-being. The point system models employed by Canada and Australia both use educational achievements in their selection criteria. "Revising Economic-Stream Selection To Promote U.S. National Interests," Chapter 4, proposes a point system that will provide broader and more meaningful protection for U.S. workers as it selects immigrants likely to succeed. (Contains 29 figures and 100 references.) An appendix lists the members and guests of the International Migration Policy Program's Study Group on the Selection of Skilled Immigrants (December 1993-June 1995). (SLD)

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About the author (1996)

Papademetriou is senior associate and codirector of the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment.

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