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Project Milwaukee: In-depth reporting on vital issues in the region.

Immigration Reform Touted as Way to Close Skills Gap

We conclude our Project Milwaukee series Friday on the skills gap. One solution some business people have suggested is immigration reform. For instance, a company owner told WUWM’s LaToya Dennis that he would have an easier time filling jobs, if the U.S. would grant permanent residency to skilled immigrants, including the students educated here. Milwaukee Attorney Jose Oliviera told LaToya that there is no fast or simple way for immigrant workers to remain here, even if employers need them.

Milwaukee attorney Jose Oliviera says:

Permanent Residency Could Take Years

"There are times in which people from India, China the Philippines, there may not be any Visa’s available for them. And with no projected date as to when they could get them. It’s a system that has a worldwide limitation and then a country by country limitation on how many people could come in. And the demand from some countries is so high that the line that forms to get in from that country could be so long that we really can’t even tell you how long it’s going to take."

The Role of State’s

"Don’t do things that make it so that the state is perceived as being a place where immigrants aren’t welcomed."

The American Problem

"The United States has enormous demand for people to enter. We’ve had years and periods in which we’ve had enormous demand of U.S. employers wanting people to come to the United States, and then we have an enormous supply of people who want to come into the United States, and our law doesn’t always match what that demand is on both sides.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.