Right Now, 'Merit-Based' Just Means Fewer Immigrants

Published: 02/14/2018

 Source : http://bit.ly/2EE0mZr

When the Trump administration says it wants “merit-based immigration” it’s not talking about admitting 1 million scientists and engineers, or even any additional immigrants with college degrees. In fact, in the past year, the Trump administration has not taken a single action to make it easier for U.S. employers to hire or retain high-skilled foreign nationals. No, “merit-based” is a code phrase for reducing legal immigration by up to 50% and eliminating almost all family immigration categories and the Diversity Visa lottery.

Change Status to F1(ESL) and Stay Legally in USA - OPMI 

Under current law, U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouses, parents, siblings or children for immigration. Under a White House public relations blitz designed to eliminate the ability of Americans to sponsor their parents, siblings or children (18 years or older), the president and his surrogates have labeled as “extended family members” people who normal human beings all consider part of their regular family. Does anyone in America actually regard their mother or father as an extended family member? Do decent, moral people consider their sons or daughters to be “distant relatives” once they reach the age of 18?

OPT/CPT Blast Resume to 1000+ employers

No Republican members of Congress or White House officials believe their own children become castoffs upon reaching 18 years old – the president’s adult daughter even works in the White House and his sons run his business. But the rhetoric is aimed at convincing Congress to eliminate family categories in order to substantially reduce legal immigration.

A recent analysis of the White House plan by David Bier and I concluded, “The plan would cut the number of legal immigrants by up to 44% or half a million immigrants annually—the largest policy-driven legal immigration cut since the 1920s. Compared to current law, it would exclude nearly 22 million people from the opportunity to immigrate legally to the United States over the next five decades.”

Even if the Senate makes small adjustments to the White House proposal it would still lead to millions of fewer legal immigrants entering the U.S. than under current law, particularly after any backlog is drained of existing applications as a prelude to ending the categories. The White House plan provides for no appreciable increase in employment-based immigration and would eliminate the ability of many family-based immigrants who possess high levels of skill to come to America.

We shouldn’t assume just because an individual is sponsored by a family member that he or she “lives in a hut.” Almost 50% of immigrants who entered the U.S. on a family or diversity visa in 2015 had at least a college degree, which is much higher than the 29% of U.S. natives with a college degree, according to an analysis by David Bier. Only 11% of those entering on family and diversity immigrant visas did not complete high school, about the same as U.S.-born.

Besides, America's economy needs labor force growth, entrepreneurs and people at different skill levels, as a recent Fed report made clear. “A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found labor shortages all over the country,” reported CNNMoney in January. “It could hurt economic growth in the long term. The survey showed worker shortages increased significantly at the end of last year. In New England, restaurants can't find waiters, waitresses and cooks. One manufacturer was three months behind schedule as he struggled to hire workers for a new factory.”

As for family and other immigrant startup businesses, “Immigrants are almost twice as likely as the native-born to become entrepreneurs,” according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. And analysts have noticed: “In the United States, immigrants increasingly contribute to entrepreneurship,” writes economist Magnus Lofstrom. “Immigrants account for more than 90% of the growth in self-employment since 2000.”

Even the administration’s demands on illegal immigration need to answer a relevant policy question: Why do we need enormous new spending levels and increased federal powers when just two months ago the administration took a victory lap on how low illegal entry into the United States has fallen? A December 2017 report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declared, “In FY17, CBP recorded the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record, as measured by apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at U.S. ports of entry.”

The “inside joke” is that while the Trump administration says it supports “merit-based” immigration, attorneys and U.S. employers consider the Trump team the most hostile administration toward high-skilled immigration in the past half-century. This is not surprising, since many key administration staff worked for senators and organizations strongly opposed to high-skilled immigration.

 Source : http://bit.ly/2EE0mZr

Get news alerts to your inbox

Latest Articles

View All News