U.S. Migration Policy Overlooks Economic Truth
The root of the existing crisis of undocumented immigration is a fundamental detach between today’s economic and labor market facts and an out-of-date system of legal migration.
Undocumented migration is driven in large part by a U.S. labor market that is producing a greater demand for less-skilled employees than is being fulfilled by the native-born workforce or by the current legal limits on immigration.
As the previous 10 years and a half of failed federal border-enforcement efforts explain, immigration policies that disregard these larger economic forces simply drive migration underground instead of successfully regulate it.
In brief, there is an unsustainable contradiction in between U.S. economic and immigration policy, with economics winning. The issue is a broken immigration system that sends out the dual messages “Stay out” and “Help Wanted” to foreign workers.
The U.S. economy remains to create multitudes of less-skilled tasks even as native-born workers age and better educated and are increasingly not available to fill such jobs.
Yet the federal government continues to impose outdated numerical caps and other limitations on migration that bear little relationship to the economic realities of our time.
As an outcome, enforcement resources are committed in large part to trying to stem the labor migration the United States economy brings in and which is an outcome of globalization. Regardless of the critical function immigrants play in filling less-skilled tasks, America offers couple of opportunities under the existing migration system for them to come to the U.S. legally.
There is a comparable bottleneck for low-skilled employees who seek short-term, employment-based visas. Of the 16 different types of momentary immigrant visas readily available for work and training in the United States, only 2 -; H2A and H2B -; are readily available to employees with little or no official training. Additionally, the total variety of H2B visas that can be granted in a year is capped at 66,000.
Only a genuinely comprehensive technique will work, one that consists of a procedure by which undocumented immigrants already living and operating in the United States can request legal status, along with the development of a short-term employee program with strict defenses for both short-lived employees themselves and native-born employees.
Legislators should deal with the problem of undocumented immigration with less rhetoric and more realistic look. Continuing the status quo by attempting to impose immigration policies that are at war with the United States and international economies will do nothing to address the underlying problem. Nor is it possible to wall off the United States from the remainder of the world.
The most useful option is to bring U.S. immigration policy in line with the facts of the U.S. labor market and a significantly multinational economy.