Immigrants have been hit harder than native-born
Americans by the economic recession, with larger
increases in joblessness among both educated
and uneducated workers, according to a recent
L. Gordon Crovitz, former WSJ publisher and
current Dow Jones VP, in an editorial in the
Wall Street Journal last week titled “We
Need an Immigration Stimulus,” makes the
case that protectionism doesn’t bolster
US economic growth and that, in our current economic
downturn, immigration reform and economic growth
are closely tied together.
Crovitz makes the point that an economic downturn
is the right time to move on immigration, one
of the few policy tools that could clearly boost
growth. Statistics show that the pace of lower-skilled
migration has slowed due to rising unemployment.
This could make it less contentious to ease the
path to legalization for the estimated 12 million
undocumented workers and their families currently
in the US. He also questions why we turn away
skilled workers, including the ones earning 60%
of the advanced degrees in engineering at US
It is worth pointing out the demographic shortfall:
Immigrants are a smaller proportion of the US
population than in periods such as the late 1890s
and 1910s, when immigrants gave the economy a
jolt of growth.
Restrictionists love to chant, “They’re
taking our jobs!” which unnecessarily stoke
the flames of recessionary fear, however, several
leading economists and numerous studies have
clearly indicated that providing a path to US
citizenship for undocumented workers would improve
wages and working conditions for all seasonal
and temporary workers, increase tax revenues
for cash-strapped federal, state and local governments
and enable newly legalized workers to spend more
on American goods and services.
Crovitz goes so far as to lay out the beneficial
roles immigrants have consistently played in
the growth of our economy:
- Immigrants have had a disproportionate role
in innovation and technology. Companies founded
by immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google.
- Half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded
by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago.
- Some 40% of patents in the US are awarded
- A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation
found that immigrants are 50% likelier
to start businesses than native born Americans.
Immigrant-founded technology firms currently
employ 450,000 workers in the US. And according
to the National Venture Capital Association,
immigrants have started one quarter of all US
On Thursday, May 21, 2009, the Senate Judiciary
Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration,
Border Security and Citizenship will hold a hearing, “Comprehensive
Immigration Reform in 2009: Can We Do It and
How?” to examine common sense solutions
to our nation’s immigration problems.
Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer presiding and an
impressive panel of experts, including former
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, SEIU’s
Eliseo Medina and Dr. Joel Hunter of the President’s
Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood
Partnerships, we hope the panel will start the
debate on repackaging immigration reform in the
form of an economic stimulus, following Crovitz’s
cue, and consider immigration reform in context
to a robust and growing US economy rather than
a protectionist reflection of our current recession.
Today’s information technologies, a major
part of the US economy, thrive as innovators
share new ideas and make businesses out of them.
Much of this activity is being done by foreign
nationals who want to become economically successful
Americans. This makes a more open immigration
system one of the few stimulus packages Washington
can deliver with confidence that it would help
end the recession.
To ensure you receive your Express H2B
please add to
your address book or safe list.
Get geared up for an exciting year ahead!
The H-2B Visa Reform
The H-2B visa program is vital to America’s
small businesses and thus to America’s
economic recovery. Even in this tough economic
time, seasonal positions remain unfilled, leaving
these businesses desperately in need of workers.
Unlike the hiring of American workers, small
business owners must go through a tough application
process to hire foreign workers through the H-2B
program. Without access to more temporary H-2B
workers, many small businesses will be extremely
short-staffed this year and could be forced to
close. For small businesses, relief must come
now so that America’s employers can get
the seasonal temporary workers they need to help
in America’s economic recovery.
Businesses Cannot Survive Without H2B Temporary
The debate over increasing the number of workers
that can be brought into U.S. through the H2B
program is heating up. The demand for H2B workers
has greatly outstripped the number of visas,
currently 66,000, which Congress makes available
Full Article | Read
Questions and Answers
Can the DOL develop a process to accelerate
the labor certification process for occupations
where there is currently a labor shortage?
Ans:In essence, in the view
of the DOL, there is a labor shortage for every
position included on a labor certification application.
To ensure fairness to each employer that applies
for temporary labor certification under the H-2B
program, all applications are processed on a
first in, first out basis, with no exceptions.
Employers are encouraged to ensure that they
have submitted a complete application package
to avoid any unnecessary delay.
H2B Myths and Reality
Myth: If there are unemployed
Americans then there is no need for non-immigrant
Reality:H-2B positions are
short-term positions. These jobs seldom lead
to full-time, gainful employment. A presently
unemployed person accepting one of these positions
will more than likely be unemployed again within
3-6 months because the job has ended. The point
of a job search is to find an opportunity where
an individual will remain employed. In addition,
a professional, who has been recently laid off,
more than likely does not want to work for three
months at the beach hot dog stand. Unemployed
individuals are searching for circumstances that
are similar to their previous work environments.
Finally, many H-2B positions are in areas where
unemployed individuals are not. For example,
resort communities seldom have high unemployment
rates because these are very transient communities.
At most beach and ski resorts the actual population
in these towns is very low, leaving not enough
individuals to cover the peak workload. Furthermore,
there are many other H-2B jobs that are located
in remote areas of the country (i.e. the forests
of Maine, the coast of Alaska). The bottom line
is this: H-2B employers want to hire as many
Americans as possible.