Bill Weld on Immigration

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)

More H-1B visas; keep more foreign grads & entrepreneurs

It's time for both Democrats and Republicans to recognize the many compelling reasons for overhauling our current immigration system.

Start with the economic arguments, which are overwhelming. Our high-tech visa backlog is driving Microsoft and Facebook jobs to Dublin and Vancouver. Our rules on foreign graduates are sending young people home who would rather stay and work here. Instead of benefiting from our beacon of freedom, we are literally educating our competition, at the expense of US innovation and exports.

We have been just as shortsighted when it comes to attracting foreign entrepreneurs: Our system lacks a start-up visa for those seeking to found companies here.

Meanwhile, our annual caps on the number of all kinds of visas, from H-1B (specialty occupation) visas to permanent resident visas, are unrealistic. Many people become frustrated by the multiyear delays and give up their dream of trying to make a contribution here.

Source: William Weld and Susan Cohen editorial in Boston Globe , Apr 1, 2013

Current system is "de facto legalization" for 11 million

Our current patchwork immigration system has all the disadvantages of "de facto legalization" for illegal immigrants, but none of the advantages. Those 11 million undocumented workers manage to escape detection, so that's legalization of a sort. It sure beats being deported. But they don't get the benefit of legalizing their status, which would mean squaring their accounts with the government and being able to emerge from the shadows and strive openly to succeed here. Those 11 million people don't all need to become US citizens. They just need to start feeling that they can advance themselves without worrying that someone might notice and report them.

A principal argument against a probationary legal status (a status that has not yet ripened into a permanent right to stay) for millions of currently undocumented workers is that it creates "second-class citizens." But any type of status is better than the shadowy non-status they have now.

Source: William Weld and Susan Cohen editorial in Boston Globe , Apr 1, 2013

Other governors on Immigration: Bill Weld on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Karyn Polito
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Newly-elected 2014:
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry

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Page last updated: Nov 26, 2014