SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Last week, the Trump Administration said it would cut back the number of visas allotted for international skilled-workers.
President Trump believes this will open jobs for Americans amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“With millions of Americans looking for work, as the economy continues its recovery, immediate action is needed to guard against the risk lower-cost foreign labor can pose to the well-being of U.S. workers,” said Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella.
Pizzella also pointed out a new requirement that employers pay higher prevailing wages to foreign workers will take effect in the near future, reflecting the need to help the job market recover from the coronavirus shutdown.
The type of visa this effects, known as H1-B, was already temporarily suspended until the end of the year. Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said about one-third of those who have applied for H1-B visas in the past few years would be denied under these new rules, the Associated Press reports.
“This is not a good idea,” said Dr. Gaurav Khanna, an economics researcher with UC San Diego.
Khanna says limiting the number of visas will actually backfire for years to come, long after President Trump leaves office.
“There are areas where U.S.-born physicians don’t want to work, like rural Kentucky, and you need a specialist, especially during this time when you need doctors on the job,” Khanna said.
According to Khanna, the medical field, car industry and tech companies are going to feel the effects more than other areas. He says foreign workers bring innovation and help companies prosper from top to bottom.
“These workers create innovation. At companies like Amazon, you create the need for giant warehouses where jobs are generated, and you’re able to hire even more workers,” Khanna said. “All these high-skilled workers — we want them, and we should make it easy for them to come here, but the U.S. immigration policy is making it harder for firms to hire these kinds of workers.”
Khanna added workers who can’t come to the U.S. will end up taking their talents to countries such as India and Canada that will reap the benefits of their innovation.
The H-1B visas were created by President George H. W. Bush to help companies fill job vacancies.