, Gloucester, MA

November 11, 2012

Letter: Time for sensible immigration policy

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

In response to the letter about U.S. immigration policy by Judy Berezansky (the Times, Wednesday Nov. 7), let me emphatically state that I completely disagree with her.

What we in this country need is not less but more immigration, with green cards — the immigrants just need to be equipped with skills we need to boost our economy.

Many other countries in the world excel at attracting skilled immigrants to their shores — Chile and Brazil in South America, for instance — because they look for people with certain skills that will help their economies. Immigrants have always been an important part of the American working scene; of all the successful Silicon Valley firms, for example, more than 50 percent have or have had CEO’s, COO’s and/or other high-ranking leadership people who were foreign born.

One of our biggest policy missteps in recent years has been that we do not allow people who have come here on student visas to stay in our country once they have finished their education.

We make it so hard for them to remain and start businesses here — which many would like to do — that they have no choice but to go home to start their new ventures in their native country.

Recently a student from India who found himself in this limbo returned home, and started a multi-million dollar business with 1,500-plus employees there, not here. That does not sound like good policy to me.

Attitudes like those of your letter-writer regarding immigration point out how little many if not most Americans know about the newly globalizing world in which we live. It’s a world that is more inclusive, not less, a world in which we just shoot ourselves in the foot believing we can continue to go it all alone.

Fortunately, in last week’s presidential election, a majority of voters recognized that and re-elected a president who understands that very well and who will take us forward, not in the other direction. And in that process, hopefully, our immigration policies will change for the better, attracting a 21st century group of new Americans to our shores who will, through innovation of which we can now only dream, improve all of our lives.