Are Migrant Workers Still Relevant in Today’s Recession?

I received an email this morning which is from a leading immigration publisher quoting an article on the Wall Street Journal A Wall Street Journal which points out that an infusion of innovators is even more needed in a recession.

Companies founded by immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google. Half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago. Some 40% of patents in the U.S. are awarded to immigrants. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation found that immigrants are 50% likelier to start businesses than natives. Immigrant-founded technology firms employ 450,000 workers in the US.

Immigrants if recruited correctly, with proper screening procedures, that is… suitable for the International movement of highly skilled migrant workers and professionals, in order to fill skills gaps then they do have a lot to contribute to any economy that has a shortage of skills, brains and innovators.

Most of the issues about taking American jobs are taking things to the extreme for professionals in silicon valley, a good American candidate will not be turned down for an H-1B applicant as it doesn’t make sense to do so.

Why is that?

1. There is no guarantee they will get the visa

2. Its expensive to do

3. It takes time…too much time!

Now, with the H-2B Guest worker program we have a different situation, which I have witnessed first hand, and the problems are aplenty due to very poor quality applicants being pushed as suitable to employers, so that some agents can make a quick buck. However, if done properly and by the right recruiters for skilled jobs like welders, Fitters, Engineers, Nurses. Vets as well as many other blue collar skills that ARE hard to find in USA even during a recession, then this is a blessing to the employers and to the economy.

What never fails to surprise me in USA, and this is not a criticism, its an observation, but there seems to be very little awareness that there is a worldwide competition for the very best migrant workers.

Canada for example needed masses of skilled workers from Nurses to meat boners, seamstresses, Skilled welders, Pipe fitters etc. and they were succeeding in bringing in from a very limited international pool. Along with Australia, the Canadians have recognized the need for migrant workers, and what they can offer to the economy.

Perhaps this isn’t such an issue for America as the market tends to go for Mexican workers anyway, but the Australians, Canadians and British are cherry picking the very best from Philippines, India, South Africa, new Zealand, Ireland and many parts of Europe, Asia and South America. They are taking a very high percentage of the available English speaking skilled tradesmen.

Australia has been at the forefront of attracting the very best workers through a good visa system that allows businesses to rely on faster and more consistent results than US employers may enjoy due to the lottery at the US embassy for applicants to get visas, this often after nearly 4 months of the H-2B process for the employer while they tried to get through Department of Labor and USCIS. When the consulate refuse visas then there is no way to get the decision reversed. This is an expensive and long road to end in bitter disappointment.

Its not unusual for American employers to be left disappointed with no visas at the end, but this would be highly unlikely in other countries to have 100% rejections when there were hundreds of visa spots allocated by the USCIS and DOL.

Should immigration reform take place in the current administration, i would hope that genuine needs for employers are given a better and fairer chance to succeed than we have seen recently.

The US desperately needs Nurses, Dentists, Veterinarians and many other skills and there is a way to get them easily but its not widely known. For more information visit our site…

Tony Hayes

International Employment Agency Immigration Services []

Overseas Recruitment Association

International Nurse Recruitment []

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