Analysts: Immigration restrictions might damage US economy

| Oct 22, 2020 | Immigration |

Business leaders and economists are warning that the effects of immigration policies pursued by the Trump administration may harm the economy for years to come, no matter the results of the November 2020 election. While President Trump has campaigned proudly in favor of immigration restrictions, others argue that the reduction in visas for foreign workers, international students and others with advanced technical skills poses a risk to economic recovery in New Jersey and throughout the nation. They argue that fewer jobs and new startups will emerge as a result of these restrictions.

Companies warn against H-1B restrictions

Many companies have voiced their displeasure with changes to the H-1B visa program. This visa program allows companies to hire skilled workers from abroad. In many cases, these workers have previously attended U.S. universities. These visas are intended for employees with high levels of scientific and technical skills. Even as the election approaches, federal agencies, including the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security, have continued to issue restrictive rules that limit the number of visas available.

Administration claims it is protecting jobs

Economists argue that other countries’ tech industries will benefit from the U.S. rejecting these highly skilled workers. For example, some have noted recruiting by Canadian firms who hope to bring international employees to tech hubs in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. On the other hand, the Trump administration argues that its actions are protecting American jobs, especially at a time of high unemployment. Companies respond that the types of jobs involved are highly skilled, not open positions with many qualified candidates in the U.S.

While the restrictions have become more onerous, many companies continue to benefit from the H-1B program to hire foreign nationals with extensive technical skills or scientific knowledge. An immigration attorney may provide advice and guidance for companies or individuals in handling employment visas.