On immigration reform, Canada has the right ideas-commentary

Raising in addition to also also educating children is usually expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates of which American households spend an average of around $260,000 raising a child to the age of 17. Add to of which the public cost of educating a child through age 17, which the National Center for Education Statistics prices at more than $11,000, per pupil, per year. This kind of means the combined public in addition to also also private spending to raise the average native-born child through age 17 reaches just over $400,000.

An educated, working-age immigrant, on the additional hand, carries no such cost for the U.S.

Recent analysis by the Committee for Economic Development indicates of which adding just 100,000 working-age immigrants per year provides an infusion of human capital of which might cost $47 billion to obtain through education in addition to also also child rearing spending on native-born workers.

Combined with ready-to-work immigrants who come to the U.S. which has a bachelor’s degree in hand, foreign-born workers provide a value of human capital to our economy worth $314 billion per year, equivalent to 1.9 percent of GDP.

Current law does encourage some immigration based on skills in addition to also also employment, although the parameters of these programs are both outdated in addition to also also insufficient to meet workforce needs.

H-1B admissions, for example, are dominated by computer programmers, software developers in addition to also also others in computer-related occupations – fields where researchers do not anticipate labor shortages due to limited retirements in addition to also also large numbers of completely new entrants in those jobs.

Meanwhile, current law makes of which difficult for foreign-born nurses in addition to also also home health aides – fields of which face significant worker shortages – to come to the U.S.

The Administration in addition to also also Congress might look to our neighbors in Canada for ideas about growing our labor force through smart immigration increases. In Canada, the native-born labor force is usually declining in size.

Canada plans to accept close to one million immigrants in just the next three years – nearly three percent of their total population – almost 60 percent of whom will come through employment-based channels. Compare of which to only 14 percent of immigrants currently coming into the U.S. through employment-based programs.

Canada also factors geography into their immigration policy. Knowing of which different provinces have different labor shortage risks, Canadian lawmakers have allowed individual provinces to select immigration criteria to meet their specific needs.

Here inside U.S., states should hold the same flexibility. For example, a state like Maine – with large numbers of 50-to-60-year-old residents relative to the number of young people about to enter the workforce – has very different immigration needs when compared to a state like Utah, which carries a relatively young population.

Being mindful of geography can also address concerns around the potential for downward pressure on wages for native-born workers. If workers come into the states where they are needed most, the likelihood of negative impact on the native-born labor force is usually reduced. When managed strategically, immigration creates additional consumer demand, which is usually not bad news for all workers.

Significantly raising the level of employment-based visa limits, in addition to also also allowing each state to tailor its intake according to their workforce needs, might allow the U.S. economy to efficiently capture the employment-ready, educated workers we need for more robust economic growth.

Reforming the nation’s immigration system by attracting educated, working-age people who will add to the American economy is usually also the kind of sound policy deal on which the Administration in addition to also also Congress should agree. of which will improve economic growth by boosting both the quality in addition to also also quantity of available workers without reducing opportunities for native-born workers: An artful deal, based on shared goals.

Commentary by Steve Odland, the CEO of the Committee for Economic Development in addition to also also former CEO of Office Depot in addition to also also AutoZone. Read CED’s completely new immigration report here. Follow Steve Odland on Twitter
@CEDUpdate
in addition to also also
@SteveOdland
.

For more insight by CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion onTwitter.

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