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Updated: December 9, 2019 Editorial

Massachusetts must be national leader on immigration

The history of our country has been shaped by immigrants, and Central Massachusetts is no exception.

Last year, WBJ teamed with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau to study the impact of the local foreign-born population on the business community, finding foreign-born residents have a higher rate of entrepreneurialism than the native-born population.

In this issue’s closer look at our region’s foreign-born community, we have found a population slightly more destabilized than in years past, in good part due to political rhetoric and policies.

Local firms have long utilized the specialty H-1B visa program, where companies can hire foreign workers in areas when they can’t find any domestic workers with the proper skills. Yet, under the President Donald Trump Administration, the application process has gotten more arduous. In November, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, UMass Medical School and Clark University all said they have fewer international students enrolled last school year, compared to 2017-2018, with drops of 2%, 7% and 2%, respectively.

After releasing a groundbreaking report in 2015 on the impact of foreign-born residents in Worcester, the nonprofit Seven Hills Foundation says it already needs to re-examine the issue. While the 2015 report showed the immigrant community has been a significant net positive for the city, the report’s authors are concerned changing national attitudes on immigration have changed the effectiveness of the foreign-born in Central Mass.

With this national tide of anti-immigration sentiment brewing, it is now more important than ever for the region – and the state – to become a place where immigrants can thrive and reach their potential. Having a debate about immigrants with regional and national unemployment at record lows and so many employers hurting for candidates is nonsensical. With 13 colleges and universities in Central Mass., international students can help a higher education industry suffering from fewer domestic college-age applicants. In Worcester, immigrants comprise 22% of the population but are 36% of its business owners, according to the WBJ study last year. In addition to companies taking advantage of the H-1B visa program to recruit the best foreign talent, immigrants workers are seen as critical to fill the need for employees in the fastest-growing professions in Massachusetts, as those jobs are typically lower paying and entry level.

In order to become a state where immigrants want to pursue the American dream, Massachusetts needs to do more than hang a Welcome sign on its front door. Schools need effective English-as-a-second-lanuage programs. Communities need funding to provide business training for older immigrant workers. Undocumented people need to be able to get driver’s licences. Social programs like MassHealth need to continue to be offered to non-citizens. Capital needs to be readily available for new Massachusetts residents to start businesses. Attracting a healthy immigrant population will go a long way to supporting our robust economy, which is threatened by a shortage of workers.

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December 10, 2019
Democrat-Socialist 2020 Platform & Goals: -Massive tax increases. -End all deportations of illegal aliens (if you get here, you stay.) -Drivers licenses for illegal aliens. -Voting rights for non citizens. -Welfare & Food Stamps for illegal aliens. (Warren) -Increase refugee’s from the third world. -Non citizens allowed to hold public office. -Socialism. -Open Borders. -Sanctuary Cities. -Decriminalize illegal entry into our country. -Defund & terminate Border Patrol & ICE. -Disarming Americans. -Green New Deal. -End of Electoral College -Free medicare care for all including non citizens Warren / Sanders (taxpayer funded with a 52 trillion estimate) -Free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded) -Reparations. -Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms. -Late term abortions up to 9 months. -Infanticide. -Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work. *Sources: Straight from the Democrat’s themselves. View their speeches / debates on you tube.The choice is yours.
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