Iowa Entrepreneurs Decide, Part II: Immigration (continued)

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To read the first half of the immigration discussion, click here. You can read the introduction to this series here.

INC.COM: If this group could rewrite the immigration rules, what would they look like?

ROWENA CROSBIE: The difficulty is there's only 65,000 H-1B visas awarded every year. There are another 20,000 for people with masters degrees. The application's due on April 1st. They're awarded in October, but they're all gone on April 2nd. There just aren't enough -- 65,000 for the whole country, and most of them are going to folks with master's degrees and PhDs, not to carpenters and a lot of the labor that we really need. And now that everything's under Homeland Security, you can't even get congressional help. Had I not gotten congressional help, I would've been deported.

JOSH MORE: The majority of illegals here are visa overstays, not necessarily people who snuck across the border. So if they can come in legally, the problem is that they stay illegally. Securing the borders isn't going to work.

But making it easier for people to be here legally would make a lot more sense than necessarily cracking down on people who are here illegally. They would have to apply, though. I would not agree with blanket amnesty.

STEVE BOERS: There's a big burden to pay to train these people. We do a lot in the school system to teach them the English language. We have to draw the line in some shape or form of productivity, so that we're not carrying the whole load. I don't know how you do that with taxes or whatever, but we're all paying to train these people, and a lot of them are here illegally.

ROWENA CROSBIE: If you're working illegally, you're not remitting taxes, and that irritates me. And yet because of the culture we're in, we do feel an obligation to care for people because they're here. I don't agree very much with a lot of things our president is doing, but I do agree with his guest worker program, so that people could work here and remit taxes, for crying out loud.

INC.COM: Is the debate that the country is having right now the right debate on immigration? Or are we missing the big picture?

JOSH MORE: I think it's too focused on what people did wrong and less focused on actual solutions.

WAYNE HANSEN: It's a scattered debate, it comes from all directions and it never works its way to a solution. There's no doubt in my mind that we need immigrants -- we need the people who have come through.

HANK EVANS: You've got as many different probably all unsatisfactory answers as you've got candidates on both sides of the aisle. You've got as many solutions as you've got candidates, and none of them are good in my estimation.

In Part III, our entrepreneurs consider energy, national security, and the environment.

Last updated: Dec 7, 2007




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