Quite a headline, I know. My wife is an immigrant, here on green card. Many of my freinds are also immigrants, here on H1 or F1 visas, either as students or as employees of companies you’ve heard of. Many of them I met in grad school, or at Google, or at summer schools. These immigrants are a massive boon to the US, and Trumps goal of removing them will dramatically hurt our country and remove our influence in the world.
There’s two major peices of news that have popped up in relation to this. The first can be found:
Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/22/us/politics/trump-h1b-work-visas.html
In the simplest terms, we are shutting down H1-b visas for the remainder of the year to combat job losses from the Coronavirus. There are many sides to this issue.
First there are large tech companies who only hire international employees to undercut the pay Americans would require to work in low to medium skilled tech jobs. This should be illegal. These companies are obviously working in bad faith. By companies I also mean several large municipal governments…
But for other companies this is not the case. I work at Google, if you can pass the interview, no matter what country you live in and abiding by certain laws we will hire you. You get the same pay no matter where you’re from, Google pays in the top 95% tech pay bracket by employed region. We can’t find enough employees in the US, most people just aren’t good enough, and Americans don’t have the best tech skills.
ICE: Foreign Students Must Leave The U.S. If Their Colleges Go Online-Only This Fall https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/06/888026874/ice-foreign-students-must-leave-the-u-s-if-their-colleges-go-online-only-this-fa
I think this one is quite a bit worse in some ways. One of the biggest bits of soft power the US has is our colleges. Their known around the world as the best. Harvard, MIT, Yale, even our flagship state universities get the best students other countries have to offer. They come here and learn about the US, meet US students, learn US culture, and often stay in the US to become our top researchers and professors at these colleges.
A common complaint would be why not take US students, and honestly, it’s because either they suck at the technical skills needed or they could easily make much more money just going into the business realm. Why would I bother with a PhD when (if I’m good at what my professed skills are) I could just make a six figure salary at Google, or Amazon, or Microsoft. For international students this is often a door into the US.
The US imports much of our talent. We need these students. Sending them back does immeasurable harm to our future.
I’m going to close this post with a personal note. In 2016, right after I was hired at Google, I went to China to see my wifes family. She was denied a new F1 visa, and I had to spend the next year away from her.
By removing these people from the US, what kinds of families are you hurting? What are you doing to people lives? Please think about this.