Employers need immigration reform | nnbw.com

Employers need immigration reform

To give Nevada the economic boost it needs, we need our leaders to act now on real and substantive immigration reform. The Nevada business community is committed to growing our state’s economy, but to be successful, we must be given every available opportunity to attract and retain the best talent from around the globe. Right now, our strict and imposing immigration policies hinder economic growth and leave our nation’s business owners in a compromised state.

The next big idea will come from the best and brightest mind – regardless of country of origin. We need the best entrepreneurs and innovators working on America’s team, helping to build and grow our economy so we can compete with every nation around the globe. Unfortunately, the opposite is proving to be true.

We educate so many foreign-born students from Nevada universities every year and for the vast majority of these students, we turn around and send them back to their home countries after they receive their American degree. This policy must change. These students came to Nevada in search of a first-class education and to live out the American dream, yet our immigration policy turns them away after investing significantly into their educational future. We are creating a large group of highly educated competitors to the United States rather than tax-paying, producing members of the Nevada economy.

There are thousands of foreign-born entrepreneurs and innovators who want to invest in and help grow American businesses. However, our strict and outdated immigration laws prevent these foreign-born investors from spending their capital in the US if they have something to gain from the investment. This policy is flat out wrong. If someone wants to come to the United States to invest in and work for American companies, we should encourage them, not turn them away. If they don’t invest and grow their ideas here, they will take them elsewhere and become a global competitor.

The economic contributions of immigrants, and their offspring, are well-documented from low-skilled workers to highly-educated professionals. In order to compete in the global economy, we need to welcome and attract different viewpoints and cultures. This is the best way to grow the economy.

Immigration reform is finally gaining traction nationally on a bipartisan level and it is up to citizens like us to encourage our leaders to take action now. We cannot continue to push this problem off to future generations, ignoring it will not make it go away. We need courage and leadership from our elected officials on this issue. I urge Nevada’s members of Congress to take part in the immigration reform discussions in Washington and to help enact sensible changes to benefit our economy.

Tim Ruffin, managing partner of Colliers International in Reno, is chair of The Chamber. Contact him through thechambernv.org