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Over the years, immigration policies have both hurt and helped the United States economically. Recently, economist agreed that the increasing number of highly skilled foreign workers in the U.S. on a work visa will help incomes rise.
During Donald Trump’s campaign he kept going back and forth with whether he was going to change the H-1B visas. Eventually he did announce that H-1B visas will have more strict wage requirements to allow high-skilled foreign workers to obtain their visa. Economist have said that this change will ultimately harm domestic US workers. The reason it will hurt domestic workers is because when the U.S. does not have the skill they need to complete a job they must look for foreign talent. Foreign workers are likely to boost the U.S. economy and overall increase income of U.S. workers as well.
Recently, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business investigated with a panel of top economists the impact on domestic worker income. According to the respondents, 94 percent of the panel agreed that allowing employers to hire immigrants with advanced degrees would help raise wages of domestic workers. “What do economists anticipate would happen if U.S. companies were allowed to hire more highly skilled immigrants? All agreed that over time, welcoming these elite foreign workers would pay off.” The panel held some of the best economist in the U.S. including economists from Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It also included Nobel laureates, John Bates Clark medalists, and former presidential advisers. On behalf of the panel, Yale Professor Larry Samuelson said “The ability to bring the best and brightest from throughout the world to our economy is a great resource.” David Autor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology explained, “Much U.S. wealth comes from innovation, and foreign-born STEM workers are a huge contributor to that effort.”
President Donald Trump has put immigration as a central focus for his presidential campaign. He has expressed his great concern for highly skilled immigrants. Trump believes that using foreign skill to fill the void of local skill will hurt domestic workers. He believes that it will allow employers to undercut wages for domestic workers which would lower their income. Most economic experts say the opposite, they believe that there will be positive results in allowing immigrants with advanced degrees to work in the U.S. Although many experts say there would be positive results, there are risks. The Center for Immigration Studies Research Director Steven Camarota says “The hope is that these highly skilled people will drive innovation or be particularly entrepreneurial.” The risk does come with whether employers are using the H-1B visas to their advantage against the intended purpose. Camarota explained that there are few jobs in science and engineering so by allowing more high-skilled immigrants it could create more competition for domestic workers. The spokesman for Federation for American Immigration Reform, Dave Ray, argued against Camarota by saying the country should completely decrease immigration while shifting a more skilled-base selection process, only allowing immigrants on a need basis. Ray explained his stand, “It would ensure that immigrants who enter will be prepared to compete and succeed in today’s America. Their impact on the labor market will be diminished, however, due to their lower numbers and their higher skill levels will ensure less impact on the nation’s strained social services.”
There are some fields in dire need of foreign skill that they can not find here in America. The computer technology industry, for instance, has been the industry using the H-1B visa the most because there has been a shortage of domestic skill here in America. The computer technology industry has relied on the H-1B visa to fill the void of skill. Immigration has always been a topic that is highly opinionated. Although many people such as Dave Ray may believe that allowing more foreign skill in the U.S. is not what the country needs, economist experts have agreed that foreign skill helps increase the income of American people.
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