Less Dramatic Changes, or, Why This Author’s Second Option Would Better Suit the American Workforce
Adjusting the visa rules less drastically than the Trump Administration’s October 6th changes will achieve similar results without the potentially catastrophic impact on American Industry. Because current rules are built on faulty economic theory (Baron, 2020), adjusting the wage changes based on a more equitable and competitive rate would both achieve the sought-after immigration policy, without damaging American economics. Below are the top reasons why increasing wages for foreign workers would more moderately cut down on the outsourcing of industrial tech positions, while also maintaining America’s position as the number one sought after country to study in (Staff, 2018).
This option would reward foreign workers with better pay for their work in order to incentivize them to a greater degree, bringing their innovation and creativity in greater numbers into the US. As this author had noted previously, H-1B workers from India alone raised American wages by $431 million in 2010 (Khanna, G., and Morales, N., 2020). Raising the wages of foreign workers would both encourage companies to hire American, without creating unnecessary hurdles for employing foreign workers.
A study carried out at Stanford University Graduate School of Business showed that per capita, immigrant peoples in the US file for more patents, and their collective IP is considered to be the top 25% of value between 1976 and 2012 (Bernstein, Diamond, McQuade, & Pousada, 2018). This same study my proposed changes to the H-1B would reward foreign workers at a significantly higher rate, which would incentivize greater numbers of immigrants to attend school and look to establish careers in America.
Protecting the American Workforce
One of the motivating factors in the recent H-1B changes was the push to protect American jobs, and ensure the jobs are filled by equally talented Americans. The issue with the current changes, is that historically speaking large quantities of the immigrants holding H-1B visas transitioned from student visas, to the work visa, and go on to becoming Green-Card holding citizens. In pulling the rug out from those people, what may be happening now is those US-educated immigrants being forced to return to their home countries and utilizing their talents elsewhere to our disadvantage. Thinking 15-30 years ahead, having those positions opened up for American citizens may be temporarily beneficial, but the damage done to the economy through the tech industry losing critical workers, as well as the long-term damage of having greater international competition outweighs those benefits. The changes implemented this year, although intended to support America, will have dire and damning impacts on our workforce antithetical to the intent of the administration.
The “Issue” of Hiring Non-Citizens
Interestingly enough, what the current H-1B rules do, is instead of punishing the companies who short-sell immigrant peoples, it punishes the immigrant peoples for things they have no control over. A lawsuit filed this past July by the trade group TechNet alleges the H-1B changes “[have] zero impact on increasing domestic American jobs” (Samuels & Gangitano, 2020). This allegation that companies are hiring foreign workers at the expense of giving away jobs which could be held by American citizens is a farce.
Bernstein, S., Diamond, R., McQuade, T., & Pousada, B. (2018). The Contribution of High-Skilled Immigrants to Innovation in the United States (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/gsb-cmis/gsb-cmis-download-auth/472776?pid=
Samuels, B., & Gangitano, A. (2020, October 06). Trump administration to impose new rules targeting H-1B visas. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/519811-trump-administration-to-impose-new-rules-targeting-h-1b-visas
Staff, S. (2018, May 02). Which country is home to the largest international student population? Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.studyinternational.com/news/country-home-largest-international-student-population/