Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has promised to reform the much needed immigration system by a series of reforms including providing automatic green card to those who get advanced degree from the US and those who serve in the Army.
“I would staple a green card to the diploma of someone who gets an advanced degree in America. We want the best and brightest to enrich the nation so the jobs and technologies they're going to create,” Romney said in his remarks at the NALEO Annual Conference in Florida yesterday.
The US President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the same conference today.
“As President, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. Those who've risked their lives in defence of America have earned the right to make their life in the country,” Romney said in his remarks.
Noting that immigration reform is not just a moral imperative, he said that it is also an economic necessity.
“Immigrants with advanced degrees start companies create jobs, and they drive innovation at a very high rate. Immigrants founded or co-founded nearly half of our top 50 venture- backed companies in this country, nearly half,” he said, adding that nearly 30 per cent more likely to start a business.
“That kind of risk-taking is something we need more than ever because new business startups in America are at a 30-year low,” he said.
Romney said he would work with states and employers to update the temporary worker visa programme so that it meets their economic needs.
Observing that improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation, Romney said that the US must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration so that people are rewarded for waiting patiently in line.
“That's why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment. We could find common ground here, and we've got to. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to ensure that our country remains the land of opportunity both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws and want to come to our shores,” he said.
Romney said he will prioritise efforts that strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier.
“I'm going to address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it,” he said.
“It is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. That means both preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa. We should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence and implement an improved exit verification system,” Romney said.
He said that United States's immigration system should help promote strong families as well, not keep them apart.
“As president, I would reallocate green cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof. And we'll exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents. We will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from coming together,” Romney said.