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Dear Editor:

Recently, the State of Iowa announced an initiative to encourage immigrants to come there in an attempt to alleviate a chronic shortage of skilled labor resulting from a persistently and perilously low birth rate. This is the same problem that low tech industries throughout the nation, and especially in the aging Rust Belt states, are experiencing. It now seems as if Iowa is retreating from this trial balloon. What is puzzling is the skepticism towards such imaginative thinking from the American Immigration Lawyers Association which argues for a general expansion of immigration quotas. That makes sense but so does an encouragement of any strategy that recognizes the importance of employment-based immigration to the American economy. The more that immigration is seen as an economic asset to be maximized rather than a political issue to be debated, the more a strong and sustaining basis for it will have been laid. What Iowa tried to do is something that AILA should embrace not oppose. Why they failed to do so suggests that the immigration bar fails to appreciate how and why employment-based immigration is truely in all of our national interest.

Gary E. Endelman
Immigration Attorney