Rust Belt Immigration Zones

The concept of creating “immigration zones” or other pro immigrant policies for the Rust Belt is being talked about as more people are willing to at least acknowledge the core cause of population loss and the positive dynamism and skills that new people might bring to the region. Not all the efects of immigration are positive, but the facts seem to show that the net effect can be very good. Newcomers have much higher workforce participation rates than average and often fill gaps and bring missing, new compementary skills which help grow the economy.

This letter is by Richard Herman in Ohio
“Dear Rustbelt Bloggers:

Thank you (particularly Chris Varley, Ed Morrison, Jim Russell, Norm Roulet) for spreading the word on the proposal for new immigration law that would create “High Skill Immigration Zones” in the most distressed cities in the U.S. Jim (Pittsburgh Diaspora) has re-framed the issue as an opportunity to encourage Rustbelt economic development collaboration around immigration. Voices are now jumping into the fray from Youngstown, Erie, Buffalo, etc.

Five days ago, Chris Briem at Nullspace posted the following under the title “Rust Belt Globalization”: “There is a blogosphere buzz over the impact new immigrants could have on rust belt regions.” I am inspired by this blogosphere buzz, the ideas that it generates, its potent network, and the potential is has to catalyze a movement. To hopefully keep the buzz ringing, I offer the following for further discussion, feedback, etc.
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Considering the economic situation in the Rustbelt, and in light of the immigration waves that the Rustbelt previously attracted, there clearly is an opportunity for the Rustbelt Region to collaborate and drive a federal lobbying strategy to create immigration incentives that would attract companies to co-locate, remain, and grow within the zone.

Why would companies come? Because they would be free of many of the business-crushing immigration restrictions that severely limit their ability to hire foreign-born talent within U.S. borders — the same talent demographic that is driving much of U.S.-based technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

Increasing number of U.S. high-tech companies are publicly stating that the primary reason they are off-shoring R&D and high-tech jobs is because U.S. immigration law prevents them from hiring immigrant talent within the U.S. due to archaic visa quotas that have NO relationship to market realities and the globalization of talent (the current H1B visa cap of 65,000 was established in 1990!).”

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