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Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

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Showing posts for "Education and Human Capital"

Visa Overstays: A Footnote on What Congress Can Do

by Edward Alden

Judging from the reaction to this week’s release of the first DHS report on the number of foreign travelers overstaying their visas, one would think this was fresh and damning evidence for critics who claim that America’s borders are wide open and that the administration is woefully failing to enforce the law. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) called a hearing on the issue Wednesday, to denounce the administration’s “refusal” to build a biometric system to track all departures. “If we do not track and enforce departures, then we have open borders,” he said. Read more »

Visa Overstays and Illegal Immigration: Finally, Some Real Numbers

by Edward Alden
A traveler has his passport scanned as he passes through U.S. Customs and Immigration (Mike Blake/Reuters). A traveler has his passport scanned as he passes through U.S. Customs and Immigration (Mike Blake/Reuters).

After several years of promising, the Department of Homeland Security this week finally delivered its first report documenting the number of “visa overstays” — travelers to the United States who come on a legal visa but then fail to leave when the lawful duration of their stay expires. The good news is that roughly 99 percent of all visitors comply and go home when they are supposed to; the bad news is that, with more than 40 million visitors last year, the one percent who didn’t go home still adds up to nearly 500,000 overstayers. Read more »

Buried in the Omnibus, a Step Back for Immigration Reform

by Edward Alden
Mexican workers, on the U.S. H2B visa program for seasonal guest workers, process crabs at the A.E. Phillips & Son Inc. crab picking house on Hooper's Island in Fishing Creek, Maryland August 26, 2015. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters). Mexican workers, on the U.S. H2B visa program for seasonal guest workers, process crabs at the A.E. Phillips & Son Inc. crab picking house on Hooper's Island in Fishing Creek, Maryland August 26, 2015. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).

Anti-immigration activists who helped to derail comprehensive immigration reform last year are seething over several provisions of the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last week. Tucked away in the mammoth legislation were some of the most significant changes in years to U.S. immigration laws. One of the biggest would greatly expand the H-2B program for temporary seasonal non-agriculture workers such as landscapers, restaurant staff, and seafood processors. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who led the fight in the Senate against comprehensive reform, lamented that the new provisions would “line the pockets of special interests and big business.” Read more »

Terrorism, Refugees and Foreign Students: Learning from History

by Edward Alden
Migrants Hungary Migrants stand in front of a train at Bicske railway station, Hungary, September 4, 2015. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters).

While the governors of more than two dozen U.S. states were announcing this week their intention not to resettle refugees from Syria, America’s universities were reporting the biggest leap in the past three decades in the number of foreign students studying in the United States. Nearly one million students from every corner of the world – including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen and, yes, Syria – are currently pursuing higher education in the United States. The year-over-year increase in the number of foreign students is the largest since 1978, according to the Institute for International Education’s annual Open Doors report. Read more »

Scott Walker’s Risky College Experiment

by Renewing America Staff
Wisconsin Scott Walker Freedom Summit Des Moines Iowa Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 2015 (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters).

Since 2000, the percent of state budgets devoted to higher education has fallen from 13 percent to 9.5 percent. This decline in funding has strained public university finances, reduced pay for many professors, and driven up tuition for students. In a new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag explains the factors that have led to the dramatic state university budget cuts, and discusses some ways that states can better manage their higher education budgets.

How to Get More Kids Into and Through College

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden
Barack Obama commencement Worcester Technical High School Students applaud as U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address at the Worcester Technical High School graduation ceremony in Worcester, Massachusetts June 11, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Amir Farokhi, CFR Term Member and COO, College Advising Corps.

Imagine a leaking pipe is flooding your house. What would you do? You would patch it immediately. Yet, when it comes to America’s pipeline of talent, we do ourselves no such favors, allowing too many gifted high school students to give up on higher education. Read more »

Obama Should Push to Give Workers a Stake

by Renewing America Staff
Ford workers Ford Rawsonville Ypsilanti Michigan profit sharing Ford Motor production workers assemble batteries for Ford electric and hybrid vehicles at the Ford Rawsonville Assembly Plant in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters).

President Obama should promote shared capitalism in his State of the Union Address. In his new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag recommends that the president make a push for policies that encourage stock-ownership plans or profit-sharing schemes for corporate employees. Shared capitalism plans have been shown to reduce turnover, improve workers’ job satisfaction, and raise their compensation. They also raise productivity, which boosts companies’ bottom lines. As concern about wage stagnation grows, shared capitalism plans are a good way to begin reversing its negative effects.

Getting Americans Back to Work: A Long Way Still to Go

by Edward Alden
CFR Renewing America Federal Worker Retraining Policy Scorecard The CFR Renewing America Federal Worker-Retraining Policy Scorecard

For the first time since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, the United States is finally creating a lot of new jobs–252,000 jobs in December, and nearly 3 million over the whole of 2014. Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent, the lowest rate since June of 2008. Read more »

Congress’s Job Training Overhaul: A Modest Step in the Right Direction

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden
Ironworker apprentices welding skills Wheeling West Virginia Ironworker apprentices (L-R) Ian Welshhans, Daniel Truax and Jason Taylor practice their welding skills during a class at the Ironworkers Local 549 training facility in Wheeling, West Virginia (Jason Cohn/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations studies program.

Any bill that receives the support of both Ted Cruz and Harry Reid is notable in its own right. When that bill takes steps to streamline the complex web of U.S. worker training programs, it is a genuine achievement for a Congress that gridlocks on even the most mundane tasks. Read more »

Born in 1988. Sorry

by Renewing America Staff
Graduating student Abel Charron hire me mortar board USC School Cinematic Arts commencement University Southern California Graduating student Abel Charron displays a "Hire me" sign written on his mortar board before USC School of Cinematic Arts commencement (Mario Anzuoni/Courtesy Reuters).

Can the year you are born dictate how much you make or how healthy you are? In a new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag explains how individuals who enter the workforce during times of high unemployment have lower wages and poorer health outcomes than those who began working in better economic conditions. Most notably, this pattern affects members of the same generation who were born only a few years apart. Over the course of a career, this can result in some workers earning up to $100,000 less than others of the same generation.