US Must Compete for Immigrants to Boost Economy, Report Says

U.S. regions should be able to determine their own immigration needs and programs, concluded a report released Tuesday from a group co-chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The report says that in order to remain globally competitive, the United States needs an immigration overhaul that is focused on picking immigrants who can help boost the nation's economy.

The report was issued by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the mayor's group, along with the Partnership for New York City, a coalition of business leaders.

The United States' immigration system doesn't match its economic needs, the report says, and needs to be reformed.

It recommended steps including fast-tracking permanent visas for immigrants who have advanced degrees in such areas as science, technology, engineering and mathematics and visas for foreign students who are studying for their advanced degrees in American universities.

"America has always been a magnet for the world's most talented and hardest working -- our success has been built on immigrants who have powered our industries and started new ventures that today rank among the world's leading companies," Bloomberg said in a statement marking the report's release.

"But we are quickly losing our edge as other countries adopt smarter economic-driven immigration policies," he said. "The future is on the line -- now is the time to reform the system and welcome the workers who will continue our success as the world's leading economy."

The report also calls for the creation of new visas aimed at investors looking to places to put their money and entrepreneurs looking to start businesses.

Bloomberg has spoken before on the need for reforming the immigration system.

This is based on a story by The Associated Press.

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