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Will Reducing Occupational Licensing Help Immigrants?

July 27, 2017, 8:56 PM

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is billing his push for reduced occupational licensing as a way to help American workers. But immigrants also could benefit from that effort.

“It’s pretty well recognized that the high and rising levels of licensing disproportionately affect immigrants, particularly those who are foreign-educated,” Migration Policy Institute President Michael Fix told Bloomberg BNA July 24.

The MPI, a Washington-based think tank, has conducted research on what it calls “brain waste": immigrants who hold college degrees but are unemployed or performing lesser-skilled jobs in the U.S. More than 1.9 million college-educated immigrants, a quarter of the 7.6 million ...