Immigrants made the US the US. Ever since 1492, a steady flow of immigrants from all over the world entered the ‘new world’ for safety, freedom, but most importantly opportunity. This uniquely American opportunity is the reason hundreds of thousands of workers desire for a chance to work in a country. But, given recent news in the Trump administration, the medium that allowed workers to travel to the United States to work for companies that are need of their skills is at risk.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it only grants temporary residence. In order to qualify for the H1 visa, a bachelor degree is the minimum level education you need, and you must be part of a specialized field, including but not limited to medicine, law, engineering, theology, and the arts. Every year, 85,000 out of the the millions of applicants are selected to continue their career in the USofA. In just 5 days of 2017, 236,000 people world wide applied.
The H1 visa really became prominent in 1990 under President H.W. Bush, although stems of multiple visa programs date back to 1819. This visa was intended to fulfill a shortage of university applicants, and to have a possibly cheaper and possibly more qualified labor source in the specific area of computer science, medicine, and engineering and mathematics. But President Trump recently (March 4th), halted the expedition process for the H1 visa, which allowed applicants to pay more to get feedback back in 15 days. Employers depended on this expedited process to plan their business, and with an unknown feedback time it will be hard for companies to hire overseas.
President Trump’s plan to reduce immigration overall will in fact hurt the economy, and is a betrayal to the foundation this country has been built on. H1 visas are what allow foreign doctors to work in rural cities where there aren’t any doctors to be found. Nearly 15,000 doctors have immigrated to serve communities that lack the skilled professionals needed in a medical field. Additionally, tech companies in Silicon Valley rely on immigrants of high engineering skills because they can not find enough qualified students to recruit in the USA.Without the expedited H1 visa application, tech companies in foreign countries can not send their workers to the US on last minute projects or consulting jobs.
If President Trump truly wants to “Make America Great Again”, he can by appreciating the immigrants that leave their home country to have a better life and take up an opportunity that is unique in the United States. Immigrants are what shaped America into being great in the first place! Trump’s rationale behind his action is flawed because these workers are not ‘stealing jobs’ from US citizens, US citizens are the ones that are not qualified and educated enough for these jobs. Trump needs to help the college, high school, and even elementary public school systems educate US children properly enough to be competitive for these jobs. In the time being however, let immigrants help out.