FAIR’s position on immigration
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-partisan organization that analyzes and evaluates immigration policies in the US with the purpose of serving the public interest and local citizens.
One of the main goals of FAIR, as stated on its official website, is to reduce immigration levels, so that the country can offer good quality of life to the population and protect American workers.
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FAIR proposes reform to reduce business immigration
Recently, FAIR published the “Immigration Reform Blueprint for the American Worker”, which proposes three main pillars to help the local population during the health crisis caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
In FAIR’s view, the country is facing gigantic challenges in the economic system, and the current unemployment rate has affected American workers. Therefore, the government should, in its opinion, implement measures to protect local employment.
FAIR’s three main proposals are:
1. Local employers should use E-Verify
FAIR argues that there are currently 7 million undocumented immigrants occupying job positions that could, and should, be available to American citizens during the current juncture.
Therefore, FAIR proposes for all local employers to use E-Verify, an “electronically-based system that allows employers to authenticate the legal work eligibility of prospective applicants.”
The non-partisan organization states that the US government should implement a national law requiring employers to use this verification platform, which has a 99.7% accuracy rate, and that it would help American citizens to find work before undocumented immigrants.
FAIR assures that this strategy, apart from any other policy, is the linchpin in reducing illegal immigration and protecting American workers.
2. Reduce legal immigration
FAIR states that the current legal immigration system offers multiple benefits for family members of American citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), which affect local workers and increase unemployment rate.
Therefore, the non-partisan organization proposes to reduce levels of legal immigration and implement a reform based on merit and skills.
President Donald Trump has made a similar proposal since 2017, stating that the local immigration system should be “merit-based.”
3. Change or eradicate foreign worker programs that reduce wages
FAIR proposes to change the H-1B Visa program for highly qualified foreign workers. Normally, this business immigration program offers job opportunities to professionals in technology, science, research, inter alia.
However, in FAIR’s opinion, this program affects American workers tremendously, mainly because companies tend to pay less to foreign workers, which becomes a routine that excludes local employees.
Therefore, FAIR proposes several strategies to prevent the H-1B program from becoming a burden on the local economy. Let’s see some of them:
- Companies should not pay less to foreign workers.
- Local companies must demonstrate that they tried to hire local personnel before hiring foreign workers.
FAIR also mentions other programs such as visas for unskilled foreign workers (agricultural and non-agricultural), intracompany transfers, and exchange benefits.
Adding to that, FAIR proposes to remove the Optional Practical Training (OPT) for foreign students, and H-4 work permits, which benefit spouses of H-1B Visa holders.
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Search and analyze different sources of information
It is important to research and analyze different sources of information in order to choose the most objective position, taking into account current global circumstances.
For instance, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a detailed report in 2019 called “Immigrants Contribute Greatly to U.S. Economy, Despite Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule Rationale”. The study states that immigrants tend to work in important sectors of society and represent a significant percentage of the local workforce.
On top of that, in 2016, the National Academies of Science – Engineering – Medicine published a report of more than 500 pages called “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration”, which reveals that the long-term impact of immigration on American workers is very small. In fact, “This report concludes that immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the U.S.”
Therefore, it is essential that we look at all the proposals when it comes to immigration and envision the country’s future in the long term and not just in the near future. We must ask ourselves, what would be the real consequences of substantially reducing immigration? Could we meet market’s demands if there is not enough qualified workforce?
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