The Immigrants We Need Most

The Immigrants We Need Most
STEPHEN MOORE
FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 2019

 

The Immigrants We Need Most

 

Of all America’s immigrant visa programs, arguably the most successful for the U.S. economy has been the H-1B program. This program admits highly skilled foreign workers who fill vital employment niches to make our Made in America businesses more successful in international markets. Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, calls these immigrants the “brainiacs.”

In many ways, he is right.

 

America’s high-tech companies use tens of thousands of these visas each year. The workers come for usually about six years, and those that are successful here apply for permanent residence when the visa expires.

The firms that use these visas must affirm that they cannot find workers with comparable skills and must pay a prevailing wage. There is little evidence that these foreign workers displace Americans from their jobs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has testified that every H-1B immigrant his firm recruits translates into about four or five additional American workers being hired.

If we want research labs, advanced manufacturing and scientific advances to happen here, we must have access to the world’s best workers. The problem is there is a severe shortage of these visas. Today, there are some 65,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program immigrants admitted under this visa category. “In the first week of this fiscal year, nearly 200,000 petitions were received,” according to Forbes.

 

This mismatch between demand and supply is restraining America’s growth spree.

 

The H-1B process is cumbersome and expensive for employers, and they wouldn’t spend the money on the program if they were not desperate for these talented newcomers. In the last decade or so, the processing time and costs have nearly doubled to get an H-1B immigrant admitted to these shores. This is a drain on the economy and reduces American competitiveness.

I travel the nation from coast to coast and talk to employers, from large manufacturers to high-tech firms to engineering and financial services; most tell me their biggest challenge is finding the skilled workers they need.

The visa limits should be raised and adjusted to meet the demands. The feds should charge employers a higher fee to bring these immigrants to the country, and these funds could be used to beef up border security pay for the cost of administering visa programs.

The solution is to tilt our immigration system away from extended family immigrants and more toward skills and merit.

To put America first, it makes sense to give green cards to the immigrants who will do the most good for our country.

 

Trump wants to shift our visa system to emphasize skill and merit, and Congress should get behind him. Skill-based immigration is one of our best weapons to keep the American economy number one in the world and to ensure we never surrender technological dominance to China or other rising nations that want to knock America off our commanding economic heights.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.” To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
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Comments

  1. I question in my mind regarding the H1B visa program allowing the supposed more educated, more experienced and mort talented foreign labor to take jobs in America is; Are we destroying America from within?
    *
    a couple of years ago we seen as a result of the free trade agreements that allow American companies to import foreign workers to replace American workers. In Florida we seen Disney bring in tech workers who replaced American workers who were already on those tech jobs, then those American workers were forced to train those foreign replacements, the only conclusion one could possibly make is that the foreign workers were willing to work for less.
    *
    Another issue we have recently seen are those tech companies who refuse to work with the American military on developing new systems because they do not support the American military actions but are more than willing to work with China. So the question must be asked are these so called educated, experienced foreign workers in America to support America or to tear us down from within.
    *
    Next issue is educating our own American children, do we continue to allow our college bound kids to continue to borrow huge amounts of money for degrees where there are no jobs that will allow them to repay their student loans just so they can have a four year degree and along with that having a wonderful four year bear and pot party.

    1. Well stated, and correct. The base issue is that we are NOT educating AMERICAN kids to take those jobs, and THAT is the solution, not more visas!
      Allowing the importing of foreign nationals to take jobs AWAY from American workers is an abomination! ANY CEO doing that needs to be charged on the spot for aiding and abetting the destruction of America!

  2. “There is little evidence that these foreign workers displace Americans from their jobs.”

    Only if you don’t count American workers who are older or don’t want to work for minimum wage. In computer related industries, there are many guys who are loyal employees working for many years on products that sustain companies while newer technologies are being developed. It is routine that these guys are laid off when those products reach end of life. Many of them are in their 50’s. They have the background knowledge to learn all the new stuff, and many of them work on the side to keep up. This does not help them retain their jobs. They never even get a chance to try. It is just cheaper to hire H1Bs. This program needs to be reworked to force companies to invest a little in their existing employees. I think that in addition to the existing requirements, companies using H1Bs should have to show that they could not retrain existing employees to do the work. Companies used to do this, and in the C-suite they still get all the training and consulting they need to keep up. The rest of the people working for them should get the same shot at keeping their jobs.

  3. Sure, if life were ideal, which it isn’t, none but the ‘best’ and smartest and most talented would enter the USA. However, who picks the crops? Cleans the houses? Gardens for the rich? Builds our Trump Towers and grooms Trump’s golf courses? We need ’em all! This country is built on the sweat, tears, brains and hands of all immigrants. Picking and choosing who enters is an elitists view of how life works. It’s a whole lot simpler and a whole lot more humane. Trump is not God – he doesn’t get to ‘choose’ that only the smartest and the hands-stay-clean folks get into this country. God makes no distinctions. And neither ought we. Thanks for listening.

    1. No, we don’t need them all; those are ENTRY LEVEL jobs for KIDS to work at! OUR kids so they learn healthy work ethics.

  4. I have first hand experience with H1B visa effects in an IT department. Instead of hiring new employees to replace retirees and others who left over the course of a few years, the head of IT dialed up IBM and brought in over 100 IT contractors from India. I’m not prejudiced, as a couple of these folks I now consider close friends, BUT only some of the contractors were very well trained, and about 50% were clueless. And the company continued to cycle these contractors in and out for years with NO hiring of local ‘talent’. I’m sure there were local folks that would have jumped at some of these jobs.

  5. HB 1 visas need a requirement to PROVE NEED, and show that there are NO Americans qualified (not merely unwilling to work for the offered pittance), and then ONLY for the length of time it takes to train an AMERICAN CITIZEN to do that job; then the foreign import goes HOME!

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