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NEW YORK - The United States is falling behind in the global race for talent as its immigration system turns away both high and low-skilled workers needed for economic growth, found a report released Tuesday.
The paper, considered the first-ever comparative study of US immigration reforms, was presented by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mexican businessman Ricardo Salinas at New York Forum, a gathering of business leaders and thinkers.
The report showed that the United States is losing its edge in attracting talent. It also warned that if the United States does not reform immigration laws, it will face a shortage of innovation workers and young workers as well as slow rates of business startups and job creation.
"America has always been a magnet for the world's most talented and hardest working people. 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," said Bloomberg.
Salinas, for his part, noted that "the immigrants are usually the most motivated, the most hardworking, the most risk-taking." "They're the best of the human capital, by definition, because they're the first movers," he said.
But immigration has been sidelined by the US government, Bloomberg said, noting that "the US government has become so worried about reelection, has become so partisan, that they don't consider immigration as an economic strategy."
"We are quickly losing our edge as other countries adopt smarter economic-driven immigration policies," he added.
The report named Australia, Britain, China and Germany among others as the countries that are making efforts to attract workers needed to power their economic growth.