Harnessing the Advantages of Immigration for a 21st-Century Economy: A Standing Commission on Labor Markets, Economic Competitiveness, and Migration
This policy paper proposes creation of a permanent, independent executive-branch agency that would make regular recommendations to the president and Congress for adjusting employment-based immigration levels.
The Standing Commission concept, first articulated by the MPI-convened Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future in its 2006 final report, would provide timely, evidence-based, and impartial analysis that is vital for informed policymaking. The bipartisan Standing Commission would be staffed by a professional corps of career economists, demographers, and other social scientists.
The Standing Commission's findings and recommendations would reflect regular reviews of labor market immigration circumstances and needs as the basis for making adjustments to employment-based immigration levels and visa allocations. In this way, the Standing Commission would make it possible to inject much-needed flexibility into a system that is currently rigid and unresponsive to changing economic conditions because it has been adjusted only every few decades.
I. Introduction: Competitiveness in the 21st Century
II. A Work Visa System Resistant to Change and Out of Tune with Our Needs
III. The Goals and Effects of U.S. Immigration Policy
IV. The Case for a Standing Commission on Labor Markets, Economic Competitiveness, and Immigration
V. What Would a Standing Commission Do (and Not Do)?
VI. How Should a Standing Commission be Structured and Operate?