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We Have ‘Workforce Crisis’ — Need Skills-Based Immigration Policy, Asylum

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Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) declared Thursday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” that the United States had a workforce shortage.

Therefore, he said skills-based immigration and asylum were necessary.

Anchor Chuck Todd said, “I know you are trying to figure out if there’s a bipartisan answer on immigration. I will not try and pretend the comprehensive immigration reform can come together, but can you have an asylum reform conversation with this group that you guys are working together with?”

Cramer said, “Yeah, I mean, it would obviously have to involve other members on relevant committees, but it was interesting listening to you talk because we have a decent asylum policy that we enacted, and we had a really short-term and long-term workforce shortage, and that ranges from part-time, low skilled to the highest skilled. We need a skills-based immigration policy, and asylum could fit right into that. Right now, if you are an asylum seeker and get into the United States and wait for the processing, you don’t get to work. We have people that need workers, and we have asylum seekers that need income. I think that’s a reasonable discussion that reasonable people on both sides could have.”

He continued, “We have a workforce crisis that opens up the door for a more significant immigration policy discussion, particularly around skills-based.”

Cramer added, “I think there are enough specific examples, whether it’s physicians, engineers, or laborers in factories or fields, there is a growing demand.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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