Immigration Reform Draws Initial Support

Congress, White House Move On Immigration Reform
A bipartisan group of senators on Monday unveiled a broad proposal to reform the nation’s immigration policy, including a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already in the US. Opponents characterized the plan as “amnesty,” and vowed to fight its passage. President Obama is set to lay out his plan on Tuesday.

There are several unknowns about the impact of the immigration plans, including whether it will drive US wages down. To an extent it depends on the industry. For example, many farmers have voiced support for providing illegal immigrants an avenue to citizenship because there is a worker shortage within their industry.

Also under consideration in a comprehensive immigration package is a proposal to increase the number of H-1B visas for highly-skilled workers.

Unintended (Not Unforeseen) Results Of China’s One-Child Policy
As the US and Europe continues to grapple with lagging economies, they have looked longingly at the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy. In the near-term, however, China will have to confront an unfortunate reality born in its one-child policy – a worker shortage.

“The shrinking of the working-age population will put downward pressure on the saving rate and upward pressure on wages, as coastal factories have already found. According to Mr Laurent, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds will shrink particularly quickly, dropping by 38m, or 21%, over the next ten years,” reports The Economist.

The demographic decline does not necessarily spell disaster, the paper notes, as “China’s success lies not in the workers it adds, but in what new capital, technology and know-how adds to its workers.”

US, Britain Prepare For Greater Involvement In Mali
With French troops securing a victory by driving extremist forces out of the Malian city of Timbuktu, other Western governments are investigating ways to provide support without becoming directly involved in combat in the war-torn nation.

With Africa emerging as a major front in the war on terrorism, both Britain and the United States are taking steps to stem the growing crisis in Mali. Britain announced plans to dispatch as many as 300 military personnel to the region, while the US is examining establishing a drone base in Africa to provide surveillance support.

Defense Department Nomination Expected To Pass Senate
The nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta at the Department of Defense is likely to move through the Senate this week, reports Roll Call.








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