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Blue is the new Green card

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Today, the European Union unveils a plan to issue Blue Cards for immigrants. They would be like our Green Cards, so it'd be easier for people to move to the E.U. and work.

One reason Europe wants to do this is to keep skilled workers from coming to the U.S. and getting those Green Cards. Kyle James reports from Berlin.


Kyle James: Europe's looking for labor, especially in fields like high-tech. Problem is, many skilled workers from developing countries head to North America or Australia instead.

The U.S. has tightened immigration policy in the wake of 9/11, but Brussels-based analyst Sergio Carrera says there's still less bureaucracy stateside.

Sergio Carrera: When comparing it with other examples like the United States, then, you know, the contrast is maybe quite substantial. You do have, for instance, some member states which still do not recognize themselves as immigration destinations.

The E.U.'s Blue Card program seeks to change all that. If passed, if would give skilled immigrants two-year renewable work visas, and permission to find a job anywhere in the 27-member bloc.

But there's opposition. Many feel immigration should be decided on the national level. Unions fear the new workers could undercut salaries of Europeans.

In Berlin, I'm Kyle James for Marketplace.

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