Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

On Tuesday, Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. convened leading economists and academics for an engaging discussion on the economic imperative for immigration reform.

Panelists participated in a wide ranging conversation focused on the economic consequences of delaying action on immigration reform, as well as the potential to boost job growth and strengthen American competitiveness.

Microsoft’s Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries kicked off the event by welcoming attendees and providing an overview of the economic significance and importance of immigration reform to the tech community. Moderated by Hamilton Place Strategies Managing Partner and former Bush Administration Official Tony Fratto, the dynamic panel included Center for Global Development Senior Fellow Michael Clemens, American Immigration Council Executive Director Benjamin E. Johnson and CATO Institute Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh.

Each speaker addressed a variety of topics, including the importance of immigration to the U.S. labor force from both a high-skill and a low-skill perspective, the cost of not moving forward on reform to American workers and how reform would help support the economies of smaller towns and cities across the country.

The event helped to mark the one-year anniversary of our National Talent Strategy, a blueprint for bolstering the United States’ human capital and economic competitiveness. Microsoft also works to close the global opportunity divide through initiatives such as Microsoft YouthSpark program, a companywide initiative that has created opportunities for more than 100 million youth around the world so far through partnerships with governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Following the discussion, we spoke with the CATO Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh on the economic reasoning for immigration reform:

We also had a chance to chat with the Center for Global Development’s Michael Clemens on why immigration reform is necessary for the future of our country:

Missed the event but want to learn more? Check out the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub and participate in the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #USCompetes.