Most Americans agree that one of the major benefits of immigration is the rich assortment of cuisine that is available in almost any U.S. city.
But food aside, YouGov poll revealed that most Americans believe that there is a net benefit of immigration. Despite this, political rhetoric is dominated by the “othering” of immigrants.
Listen to or watch the Immigration Show episode on this topic with audio with attorney, Jon Velie & broadcaster, Dave Kelso.
The Role of Education in Immigration
America has the best universities in the world. According to the U.S. News and World Report that ranks the Best Global Universities, 8 of the top 10 are in the United States. Some of the brightest minds from around the world come to the U.S. to attend a university, imbibe the American values, and enter the job market.
However, foreign national degree holders are finding it increasingly difficult to remain in the United States after graduation. As a result, college admissions for international students continues to decline. The admission rate of Indian students has decreased by 28%, while Chinese students’ admission has decreased by 24%. Such decrease translates to a loss of approximately $2 Billion in tuition to U.S. universities annually.
STEM, IT and the American Economy
Losing foreign national students goes beyond burdening U.S. higher education, there are economic consequences. It is no secret that foreign national students pursue STEM education at higher rates than their American counterparts. For instance, the Pew Research Center found that international students earn a large share of advanced degrees in the majority of STEM fields.
Companies recruit the brightest minds from U.S. universities to boost growth and innovation. However, the STEM fields are growing so quickly that hiring Americans and recruiting graduates from U.S. universities is not enough. Foreign talent is necessary to fill the STEM education gap for companies that are a driving force for the U.S. economy.
Skilled immigrants in the American workforce help create new jobs and expand the U.S. economy. For every foreign-born worker in STEM fields with an advanced degree from a U.S. university, an additional 2.62 jobs are created for U.S.-born workers.
When an individual with specialized knowledge becomes employed, the company also needs salespeople, managers, supervisors, supporting personnel, etc. that will oversee and provide support for the position. Everything from education to medicine to finance is being affected by technology. Foreign talent allows us to fill vital jobs necessary to facilitate innovation and growth.
The current unemployment rate is around 3 percent, but the number of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce continues and will continue to grow. In some U.S. cities, there is actually a negative unemployment rate for tech workers, meaning U.S. employers have jobs that are simply going unfilled.
When U.S. Employers Have Unfilled Jobs
Every year, since this new administration has come in, the government finds new ways to reduce the number of people entering the U.S. However, making these high-skilled visas tougher to obtain for American companies forces jobs out of the U.S.
When companies leave, they take all the other jobs along with them. It is not just that foreign nationals can no longer enter – it also means that the job of the manager or the salesperson or the marketer is gone too.
Competition has made our country great. A competitive labor market is a key to hiring the best people. The government has no business telling companies who they can and cannot hire. That should not be their role; it’s way too intrusive. Making immigration harder for the sake of helping an American that is not as good as somebody else should not be the situation into which the U.S. companies are forced.
It is a lot easier to tear something down than to build it and we have built the strongest economy in the world. The U.S. is leading in GDP across the globe. We can destroy this accomplishment by making it really, really hard to work here. Most Americans believe that immigration has an overall positive effect on our country. Yet, our leaders are using fear to paint a poor picture of immigration. The conversation surrounding immigration is wrong right now. The message is, “Let’s find anecdotal evidence of a bad thing that somebody from another country did so that we can cast a net over everybody else that is not from our nation.” That is just the wrong way to look at it, and the evidence does not even merit it.