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'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

Last updated on: December 16, 2011 12:00 IST

'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

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Lalit K Jha in Washington

Republican presidential candidates today vowed to revamp the flawed immigration system of the country, in particular the legal immigration, with onenoting that half of the Fortune 500 companies in US were founded by immigrants.

"In terms of immigration and illegal immigration, this President has so screwed up this economy, nobody is coming anymore," Jon Huntsman, leading Republican presidential candidate said during a debate in Iowa.

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'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

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"But let's not lose sight of the fact that legal immigration is an engine of growth for this country.

"Half of the Fortune 500 companies in this country today were founded by immigrants. . . our visa system is so screwed up in this nation," Huntsman said responding to questions on immigration system.

He added, "You've got to completely remake the way that people are moving back and forth, our H-1B visa system, how we're dealing with movement of people, how we're dealing with immigration.

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'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

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"This is an economic development opportunity, and we are missing it." Leading Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, proposed a identity card for all the immigrants.

"We'd have a card, little plastic card, bio-information on it. Individuals who come here legally have that card, and when they apply for a job, they're able to show that to the employer," he said.

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'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

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"My view is, people who've come here illegally, we welcome you to apply, but you must get at the back of the line, because there are millions of people who are in line right now that want to come here legally; I want those to come here legally.

"Those that are here illegally have to get in line with everybody else," Romney said.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said the just introduced IDEA Act, would in fact reinforce this model, because it would take away all tax deductibility for anyone who is employed illegally.

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'US economy owes a lot to the immigrants'

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"Once you have something like e-verify effectively working, you really build a big sanction," he said, adding, "We disagree some on what you do with very, very long-term people here.

"I think somebody who's been here 25 years and has family here and has local family supporting them ought to have some kind of civilian certification."

He said on the issue of immigration, "On day one I would drop all the lawsuits against Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama.

"It is wrong for the government."

 






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