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Immigration and International Trade – Visas

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1 Immigration and International Trade – Visas
By: Simonetta Simmons

2 Table of Contents: Overview
Opposing Arguments – Low Skilled Immigrant Labor/High Skilled Immigrant Labor/Miscellaneous Facts: Immigration In America Obama vs. Romney – Immigration Reform Visas Relevance of High and Low Skilled Immigrant Labor Current U.S Legislation Policy Proposal Sources

3 Overview The United States has had a history of immigration since its conception in However, in todays immigration discourse, dispute over the need for more low and high skilled immigrants as tools for U.S global competitiveness versus popular views of immigrants as causers of high national unemployment is pervasive. At the forefront of the discussion lie questions of the relevance of U.S issuances of temporary work permits and visas as means of leveraging corporate needs for additional labor.

4 Opposing Arguments – Low Skilled Immigrant Labor
Consume a high amount of government resources (health care, education, welfare, etc.) without paying a corresponding high rate of taxes. Less-skilled American citizens earn less money and have fewer job opportunities because they must compete with immigrants in the job market

5 Opposing Arguments – High Skilled Immigrant Labor
Wage Depression/”Cheap genius” – Exploitation of highly skilled workers at the expense of highly skilled U.S natives who are equally qualified. H1-B visa is a “Subsidy for corporations.” An excuse for corporations to increase their profit margins “Outsourcing Visa”

6 Opposing Arguments – Miscellaneous
National identity and language is disappearing. The great “melting pot” is being replaced by divisive multiculturalism. More immigrants means more opportunity for terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals to enter the country

7 FAIR – Federation for American Immigration Reform
FAIR advocates "7 Principles of True Comprehensive Immigration Reform": 1. Reduce the flow of immigrants 2. No legalization 3. No Guest-Worker Program 4. Protect Wages and Standards of Living 5. More Enforcement 6. No Asylum 7. Immigration Time Out (Very strict immigration only for "a narrowly focused refugee resettlement program" and limit family reunification each year) To end illegal immigration through enforcement of existing immigration laws as well as the application of new technology; to set legal immigration at the lowest feasible levels consistent with the national security, economic, demographic, environmental and socio-cultural interests of the present and future.

8 Facts: Immigration In America
Since 2000, the U.S has admitted an average of 1 million legal immigrants per year According to U.S Census Bureau – 12.7% of the U.S population was foreign-born in 2006 Median age of immigrants who have arrived since is 28.1 years compared with 35.6 years for the native-born population. Immigration is helping America avoid the serious demographic problems confronting rapidly aging societies such as Russia, Italy, Japan and soon China.

9 Obama – Immigration Policy
Continue to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to securing our borders Demand accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers Strengthen our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs; and Require responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally.

10 Mitt Romney – Immigration Policy
Raise visa caps for highly skilled workers Grant permanent residency to eligible graduates with advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering Secure Border Enforce Law Oppose Amnesty

11 Visas Process of receiving a visa/green-card citizenship
Legal immigrating is a difficult process. Most immigrants who gain legal permanent residence status (green card) are either closely related to a legal resident in the US or are sponsored by an employer who must demonstrate a lack of sufficient U.S. workers available for the position. A maximum of 50,000 “diversity visas” are offered each year to immigrants from countries that send relatively few immigrants to the U.S. Only 5,000 permanent residence visas are available each year for low-skilled workers.

12 Visas – Continued In addition to green cards, the U.S allocates nonimmigrant visas that allow foreigners to come to the US temporarily for study, tourism, business and diplomacy. Foreigners entering the U.S for temp periods outnumber those who are given legal residency.

13 Visas – Continued Education, Business or Athletics (O visas)
Temporary agricultural workers (H-2A visas) International cultural exchange visitors (Q visas) Temporary workers performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature (H-2B visas) Inter-company transferees (L visas) Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge (At least a Bachelors degree) (H1-B visa)

14 Visas – Continued Training in a program not primarily for employment (H-3 visas) Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors (E visa) Chili Free Trade Agreement Professional (H-IB1 visa) Mexican and Canadian (NAFTA) Workers (TN and TD visas) Singapore Free Trade Agreement Professional (H-1B1 visa) Department of Homeland Security million temp visas issued during million came for pleasure, 5 million for business, 1.7 million for employment, and 1.2 million for study and academic exchanges.

15 High-Skilled Labor: H1-Visas
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the US under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101 (a) (15) (H). It allows U.S employers to temporarily employ workers in specialty occupations. Must be renewed every three years If foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for or be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer, or leave the United States.

16 Relevance of High-Skilled Labor
“In an age when attracting the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world is the most important competitive advantage a knowledge company can have, why would we add barriers against such brainpower— anywhere?” – Thomas Friedman feature=autoplay&list=PL D4F79&lf =results_video&playnext=2)

17 Relevance of High-Skilled Labor Continued
American companies need to be able to compete for top talent in the world. Our producers must be able to hire the right workers with the right skills to compete in the global marketplace. This expansion of global demand occurs during a time when the number of native-born Americans earning degrees in those fields is woefully inadequate. Meanwhile Canada, Britain, Australia, and Singapore are competing for the same talent, while China and India become more attractive for returning expatriates.

18 Relevance of High Skilled Labor Continued
According to the study, the H-1B visa program for highly skilled foreign professionals “has played an important role in U.S. innovation patterns” over the past 15 years.  This is evidenced by the fact that the number of inventions, as measured by patents, has increased when H-1B caps are higher due to “the direct contributions of immigrant inventors.” In 2008, Bill Gates testified that “Microsoft has found that for every H-1B hire we make, we add on average four additional employees to support them in various capacities.”

19 Relevance of High Skilled Labor – Continued
Successful high-tech companies, Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and Intel were cofounded by immigrants. Duke University Pratt School of Engineering 2007 study – ¼ of all engineering and technology companies launched between 1995 and 2005 had at least one key founder who was foreign-born. Companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005. Most immigrant-founded companies are in software and innovation and/or manufacturing service sectors.

20 Relevance of High Skilled Labor – Continued
Foreign nationals living in the United States were listed as inventors or co-inventors on almost a quarter of the international patents filed from the United States in 2005 H1-B visa program is the main channel for American companies to higher highly skilled foreign born workers H1-B visa allows a worker to enter the U.S temporarily for a renewable period of three years. Current law maintains a cap of 65,000 visas/year plus another 20,000 for graduates of U.S. universities who have earned at least a master’s degree.

21 Relevance of High Skilled Labor – Continued
H1-B workers create employment opportunities for native- born Americans by increasing R&D, production, and exports. Research shows that for every H1-B visa requested by an S&P 500 or technology company, the company typically adds five additional workers.


23 Low-Skilled Labor 12 million foreign-born people are living in the U.S. without authorization, number grows annually by 100,000 Most illegal immigrants are low-skilled workers and most come from Mexico and Central America The continuing inflow of unskilled immigrants to the U.S has been driven by economic and demographic trends Supply of native-Americans who traditionally filled such jobs continues to shrink as the American worker becomes older and better skilled. Low skilled immigrants enable sectors such as retail, construction, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels to expand. Expansion creates middle-class jobs in management, bookkeeping, marketing and other areas that employ native-born Americans.

24 Current US Legislation
HR Fairness for High-Skilled immigrants act To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per- country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes. Passed in the House, still awaiting Senate approval and subsequent presidential signature.

25 Current US Legislation Continued
American JOBS Act – “non controversial measure” to get American’s back to work Spending $35 billion in additional funding to protect the jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters Spending $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 public schools and community colleges. Spending $15 billion on a program that would hire construction workers to help rehabilitate and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes and businesses.

26 Policy Proposal – High Skilled Labor
Raise the current H1-visa cap of 65,000 to attract foreign talent and leverage corporate needs for high-skilled labor. Expand the annual quota of employment based- green cards in order to secure valuable workers. Make long-term investments in the human capitol of their foreign born workers. Further investments in U.S education system to produce highly skilled American workers in the future. From fiscal year , employers exhausted this quota before the fiscal year was over (except from , when the ceiling was temporarily increased).

27 Policy Proposal – Low Skilled Labor
Temporary worker program - renewed every three years as a means to quell illegal immigration –to meet demands of growing U.S. labor market (must offer enough visas to meet the demands of employers and consumers) Temporary worker programs must include worker mobility – a portable visa that would allow temporary workers to freely choose whom the work for with a minimum of red tape will enhance bargaining power in the marketplace and improve their pay and working conditions. Investment in greater border security initiatives

28 Sources Immigration Policy Institute:
Migration Information Source --Immigration statistics: CATO Institute: Trade and Immigration ( Globalization and Immigration: Trade and Foreign Policy: Economic Benefits of Immigration reform: legalization-measuring-economic-benefits-immigration-reform Trade and immigration: The impact of international migration on international trade: an empirical study of Australian migrant intake from Asian countries ( State Department Diversity Visa Program ( History of U.S Immigration ( H1-visa debate ( playnext=2) Link to Dr. Malawer’s website: (

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