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On Thursday, three speakers—a congressman, an economist and a foreign-born CEO—gathered at the American Enterprise Institute to share their distinct but complementary takes on how to use immigration reform to create American jobs. The event was centered on a new study authored by economist Madeline Zavodny, a professor at Agnes Scott College, and co-sponsored by AEI and the Partnership for a New American Economy. U.S. Representative Tim Griffin from Arkansas’s Second District kicked off the event by laying out the problem: we provide valuable education to foreign students and then send them back to their home countries to compete against us, even though we do not have enough workers to fill high-skilled jobs in America. Griffin described a bill he is about to introduce that would allocate green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields to encourage these students to put their skills to work in the U.S. Zavodny then argued against the general conception that immigrant workers are competing for jobs with Americans. Her report shows no significant effect of immigration on natives’ employment; in fact, having a bigger share of foreign-born advanced degree holders increases jobs for Americans. She suggested policies to aid high-skilled, U.S.-educated foreign workers in getting green cards and visas. Finally, Sudhakar Shenoy, CEO of technology company IMC, described how difficult it is now for foreign students to obtain visas to America, adding that America might even lose talented workers to competing nations if the problem is not properly addressed.
Immigration reform is a jobs solution that does not require cutting government programs or raising taxes. A new study -- cosponsored by AEI and the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders -- finds that immigrants can complement, rather than compete with American workers: 2.6 jobs for American workers are created for every foreign graduate of a U.S. university with an advanced degree who stays to work in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field.
Headlining this event with the report’s author, Madeline Zavodny, will be U.S. Representative Tim Griffin from Arkansas's Second District, who will soon be introducing a bill to allocate green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields, and technology CEO Sudhakar Shenoy. Breakfast will be served.
Registration and Breakfast
TIM GRIFFIN (R-Ark.), U.S. House of Representatives
MADELINE ZAVODNY, Agnes Scott College
SUDHAKAR SHENOY, IMC
NICK SCHULZ, AEI
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Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) was elected the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on November 2, 2010. For the 112th Congress, he is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary, and is an assistant whip for the majority. Rep. Griffin is currently serving in his 16th year as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps, holds the rank of major, and is assigned to the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group as the Command Judge Advocate. In 2006–07, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. During his tenure, in addition to federal criminal prosecutions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office provided outreach and training in rural counties and provided federal civil rights law training to law enforcement and community leaders. In 2005, he served as special assistant to the president and deputy director, Office of Political Affairs, at the White House, where his duties included organizing and coordinating support for the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., to be chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Nick Schulz is the editor-in-chief of American.com, AEI's online magazine of ideas focusing on business, economics, and public affairs. He helped launch American.com and the Enterprise Blog. Prior to joining American.com, he was the editor-in-chief of TCS Daily and the politics editor of FoxNews.com. He was an award-winning television producer with the PBS series Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg. He has also been published widely in newspapers and magazines around the country, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Slate. In 2010, he coauthored “From Poverty to Prosperity” with Arnold Kling.
Sudhakar Shenoy is founder, chairman and CEO of IMC Inc. and was recently named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Washington, D.C., high-tech industry, as well as being awarded the 2004 Executive of the Year by the Northern Virginia GovCon Council, the Professional Services Council and Washington Technology. Under Mr. Shenoy's leadership, IMC has become an award-winning technology solutions company, providing expert government, commercial and scientific solutions designed for each client's precise mission. Shenoy is also the former chairman of the Northern Viriginia Technology Council, where he still serves as a board member. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work and citizenship and is a frequent lecturer, convocation speaker and radio personality, often discussing impacts and directions of various technology trends.
Madeline Zavodny is a professor of economics at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn. She was formerly an associate professor of economics at Occidental College and a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Her research on the economics of immigration has been published in the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Development Economics, Demography, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Research in Labor Economics and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.