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Hawaii’s Economy Needs Immigration Reform

IMMIGRATION INSIGHTS: John Egan’s commentary on how Immigration Reform will impact Hawaii’s economy was recently published in Honolulu’s Pacific Business News:
Hawaii’s economy needs immigration reform – Pacific Business News
We have read about how the growing Hispanic vote has shaken up electoral demographics, how current policies are hurting kids who came to the U.S. as children, families awaiting unification with members overseas, and relations between the U.S. and our neighbor to the south, Mexico. We hear less about the business issues involved, but they are significant and should not be lost in the clamor.
Immigration gridlock impacts the business community at both ends of the labor market. We have suppressed the inflow of high-skilled workers needed by the science and technology sectors on one hand, and restricted access to low-skilled workers in agriculture and food processing on the other. Both of these sectors are of critical importance to growing our economy here in Hawaii and we should be paying close attention to how this debate develops.