On CNBC, Immigration Is Innovation

Andy Halataei photo

As we inch closer to Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup of S. 744, the bipartisan Gang of 8 comprehensive immigration reform bill, ITI's Dean Garfield tonight talked with CNBC's Larry Kudlow about the link between immigration reform and economic growth.  Here are highlights, or you can watch the entire interview here.

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This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to align our immigration system with our economic best interest. 

ITI's Dean Garfield on CNBC with Larry KudlowOur principal focus is job creation.  We know immigration is innovation policy.  We care about getting more high-skilled labor here in the U.S. and having the U.S. be the platform for innovation in the world.  We also care about making sure our immigration policies are aligned with our economic interests.  This is an opportunity to do that, both in the permanent visa system as well as with the H1B system, getting more start-ups, getting more STEM -- all of those will lead to job creation.

40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in this country were founded by immigrants or immigrants’ kids.  Of the top research institutions in the United States, 70 percent of the patents filed out of those institutions are being filed by immigrants.  So we know the story, which is that immigration policy is innovation policy.  It leads to economic growth.  It’s a virtual cycle and it's one we want to continue.

There is no doubt in my mind and no doubt from all the studies that we've seen that by having high-skilled immigration will lead to economic growth in this country, which will actually unleash the kind of innovativeness and job creation that we all want to see.

As Senator Rubio has said, as the president said, this is a starting point.  It’s a very good starting point in order to get what we want and the country need for job creation.  We know we have to seize the opportunity in front of us today.  

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