President Trump’s executive pen is at it once again, and of course, it’s while Americans are too distracted by black lives matter protests and COVID-19to notice. Donald Trump’s vendetta against immigration into the U.S, especially from poorer countries south of the border, has been no secret since he ran in 2016. He became famous most of all for his hard stance on the issue. Then, there was his promise to build a “big beautiful wall” across our border. That, of course, would be a promise yet to be fulfilled or paid for by Mexico. Donald Trump’s latest stunt does come as a surprise to some, however, in announcing a temporary executive ban on new H1B visa recipients entering the country.
Although Republicans have famously supported reforms to reduce immigration into the U.S by as much as 50%, historically, it’s always been with an emphasis on banning only the poor and low-skilled. Historically, H1B Visa programs are among those they have sought to protect, but times have changed under Donald Trump.
What Does Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Mean
First, it’s important to understand exactly what this order means. According to the executive order itself, this is an effort to help improve the economy and protect American jobs in light of COVID-19. The order will freeze the entry and approval of all new H1B visa applicants outside of the United States who do not currently have a visa approved. Fortunately, OPT Job programs will still be protected, and H1B visa recipients already in the United States should still be protected and free to renew their visas.
On its face, this freeze does not appear to be a direct attack on immigration, though perhaps a side-winded one, but what is its purpose? According to the order, the hope is to protect American jobs and help the U.S economy recover in these difficult times. No doubt Trump is desperate to drive the unemployment numbers done before his election, especially since the unemployment numbers themselves may not be as rosy as once believed. But does Trump’s executive order on immigration actually help?
How Does Trump’s Executive Order Affect Immigration and The Economy?
It would seem that Donald Trump is wrong on immigration once more and has resorted to the impulse defense mechanism of protectionism to artificially drive up the employment numbers before his reelection is put to the vote. However, does his executive order on immigration help American workers? Of course Trump is not the first to misunderstand the facts on immigration and the economy, but he certainly pushes the ticket. Well, certainly not long term. First, we should consider that immigrants are becoming rapidly and substantiallymore likely than American citizens to start businesses. Immigrants run close to half of all new firms and tech companies, and many of them are prominent leaders in Fortune 500 companies across the country.
Immigrants, time, and time again are job creators, not takers, as Trump so consistently claims. Trump’s executive order on immigration will not likely help the economy but hurt it, and proof of this has been shown through research by economists and even prominent business schools. Among these is the Wharton School of Business, always ironically the school that President Trump proudly graduated from. In 2018consistent research by Whartonshowed that immigration, by and large, was good for the economy. First, high-skilled immigrant workers correlate to better pay, higher productivity, and improved employee morale for American workers with whom they share a workspace. Furthermore, clusters of immigrant communities attract foreign investment. Companies from their home countries are more likely to set up shop to sell their target market working abroad. The result? More jobs, more business, and more money in the United States.
What is the Real Motive Here Trump’s Immigration Executive Order?
It doesn’t seem clear why Trump is so eager to throw American companies and tech workers under the bus the way he is. Trump’s immigration order will never help the economy or create American jobs, especially long-term. It defies logic and reason, as well as factual research to believe otherwise. So what is Trump’s real motivation here? Does he believe American companies will scramble to hire unqualified American workers to temporarily boost his unemployment figures? Is this an attempt to appeal to base on immigration reform before an election? Does he truly believe this will make life better for American workers, or has he just lost his mind?