Cutting Immigration Isn’t Anti-Immigrant

The Quote Below—More Misinformation from the Media

After targeting asylum seekers and “Dreamers,” President Trump is broadening his anti-immigrant message to take on over a half million skilled or temporary foreign workers. It’s a self-punishing stunt that will harm the economy and further proclaim this country’s hostility to outsiders.

The White House is dressing its stance as a response to COVID-19 dangers and the need to improve a 13.3 jobless rate. But the job categories the president is curbing don’t fit this argument. It’s an enhanced version of the president’s favorite topics that foreigners are to blame for the nation’s ills and his angry scapegoating is the answer.

The limits handed down this week are a hodgepodge. There will be no more visas for high-tech workers, seasonal employees, corporate higher-ups and scholars in exchange programs. . . .

The package along with earlier crackdowns puts a blinking stop sign on outside job seekers looking for work in this country. The Trump team is laying down another rule that underscores a brutal and unmistakable message. The U.S. doesn’t want or need foreigners. The public health crisis is providing an excuse to sell this viewpoint at a dire time.

The administration, though, is undercutting itself. Studies show that immigrant workers benefit the economy and do work that Americans can’t or won’t do. This week, business groups are complaining the restriction will make it harder to find qualified and willing workers. Tech companies may ship more work outside the country, where hiring is less restrictive. – Trump’s New Immigration Limits Could Hurt the Economy, San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial Board, 6/23/20 [Link]

Fact Check of Quote Above: This editorial uses a dishonest ploy, one commonly pitched by immigration enthusiasts. It suggests that all proposals to cut immigration must be “anti-immigrant,” i.e., they stem from hostility to immigrants and foreigners in general. To the contrary, our country can legitimately prefer different levels of immigration and types of immigrants in pursuit of its national interest.

To say otherwise is like saying that a company is anti-employee because, to suit its goals, it limits the number of employees it hires. President Trump has never said or suggested that he dislikes all foreigners and immigrants. What he has said is that we should be selective about the ones we admit so that our country will benefit. On particular concern to him is the wellbeing of American workers. His motive isn’t “anger” or “scapegoating.”

This editorial acknowledges that we have a high level of unemployment, but then goes on to claim that we have a need for workers to do jobs that Americans “won’t do.” Apparently the writer is unaware that in every American occupation, with a few exceptions like agriculture, native-born American workers are the majority of workers.

This claim is particularly inaccurate with respect to tech workers. U.S. companies falsely maintain that there is a shortage of U.S. tech workers because they can use the H-1B program to get lower wage foreign workers. Proof to the contrary is not hard to find. Almost three-quarters of Americans with college degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are working in non-STEM fields. Furthermore, it is depressingly common for U.S. tech companies to require their U.S. workers to train foreign replacement before terminating the U.S. workers. Those workers will not receive severance pay if they refuse to do the retraining. If the American workers were unqualified to do their jobs, they would certainly be unqualified to retrain their replacements.

When Immigration enthusiasts make the charge that restrictionists are “anti-immigrant,” it is a good idea to consider the source of the claim. Their indifference to the well-being of our citizens suggests that they are anti-American.


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