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Worker shortage has businesses hoping for immigration reform

It is a little-publicized problem that many businesses and communities nonetheless face across the United States: a shortage of workers. One area struggling with the problem is found along the north shore of Lake Superior. A rocky area known for scenic cliffs and beaches lining an enormous, turbulent lake, it is dependent on tourism.

Situated between Canada and Duluth, Minnesota's Cook County is famed for its scenery, hiking, fishing, boating and gorgeous resorts. But it struggles with an aging population unable to fill the jobs needed to keep the tourism industry afloat. A recent article from the area suggests residents are pinning long-term hopes on immigration reform that will enable businesses to fill today's openings and future needs.

"Demand is definitely outpacing supply" in the hospitality industry's workforce there in the northern reaches of Minnesota. In a place where tourism accounts for a full 80 percent of the local economy, resort owners and others have become increasingly reliant on seasonal and short-term help, often supplied by immigrants.

Some businesses have been able to find workers with H-2B visas. For employers, the visas come with drawbacks such as some responsibility for the worker.

One resort owner said it costs him about $4,500 just to hire an international worker and bring her or him to the North Shore.

"There are many places in the country that are in the same state that we are," said a business owner. "All of whom are looking to hire any legal worker."

In the long-term, many residents hope to see immigration reform open the door for more immigrants to get jobs, provide for their families and help American businesses succeed.

Here in Staten Island, an experienced immigration attorney can help you get the visa you need to make your dreams come true.

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