Monday, August 12, 2019

The Mississippi ICE raids expose the biggest problem with US immigration laws: Demand for Labor

Alexia Fernández Campbell on Vox identifies a central fact raised by the Mississippi food processing raids:

"American immigration laws do practically nothing to address the main cause of illegal immigration: super high demand for low-skill work, and not enough workers available to fill those jobs. There’s practically no way for a low-skilled worker from Guatemala to “wait in line” for a visa to take a job at a chicken processing plant in Mississippi. Only one such visa exists — the EB-3 visa — but it’s limited to a tiny number of people (5,000 max). Yet the US economy needs hundreds of thousands of workers to fill these jobs right now. The US is experiencing a serious labor shortage, and it’s harder for businesses to find low-skilled workers these days than high-skilled workers. However, employers have no way to hire immigrants for jobs like those at chicken processing plants. And instead of creating pathways for low-skilled immigrants to work legally in the US, Trump has proposed an immigration plan that would specifically favor immigrants with advanced college degrees. If the Trump administration wants stop illegal immigration, he needs to do the opposite."

Food for thought.


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