Trump’s administration wants to restrict work permits for foreigners
Making a thorough recap, one can realize that since President Trump took office in 2017, one of the main purposes of his presidential campaign has been to reduce immigration at all costs.
Nowadays, due to the arrival of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the current administration of the US has implemented strict measures regarding entry permits for foreign skilled workers.
The Trump administration’s stance
President Trump presents several arguments that support his ideal of reducing the number of visas issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for foreign workers.
- The President assures that available jobs should only be offered to legal citizens due to the unemployment rate caused by the pandemic.
- Foreign workers use social and economic resources offered by the government and it is essential for the country to safeguard those resources for the local population.
- Normally, foreign workers have higher wages than legal citizens and this could affect the economy of local companies.
In addition to those arguments, the government wants to reduce work permits issued to newly graduated foreign students in the US.
Newly graduated foreign students have the opportunity to apply for a temporary work permit called Optional Practical Training (OPT). This permit allows them to work legally while completing their studies in the country.
The current administration of the US disagrees with OPT work permits during the health crisis.
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University of California San Diego study contradicts government’s opinion
A recent study by economists at the University of California San Diego presents multiple figures that show the benefits of allowing foreign specialized workers to enter the country and how they contribute to the economy.
Experts say that if the government offered more benefits to foreign workers, it would help boost the country’s economy.
Let’s look at some of the arguments presented in the study:
- Business immigration motivates competitiveness among local workers.
- Foreign workers increase wages for the local population.
- Local companies benefit greatly from the work of specialized foreigners.
- The only way that local companies can hire a foreign skilled worker is if there is not enough specialized local workforce available, therefore, they are necessary to meet the needs of the American market.
- Foreign workforce occupies the most important sectors of the market such as construction, medicine, the food supply chain of the US, inter alia.
- Immigrants constantly create small and medium-sized businesses, thereby boosting the economy by offering new job positions and more wages for legal citizens.
The study’s conclusion literally states: “we find there are several areas where strengthening migrant worker rights benefits native-born workers, outweighing any costs borne by them. In terms of wages and employment, granting immigrants legal working status not only increased their welfare, but kept native workers competitive by disallowing lowered wages for immigrants”.
To read the full study, please click here.
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