The following opinion editorial is written by analyst Joe Guzzardi and published by “Progressives For Immigration Reform.” Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. The following is republished in its entirety, with permission.
White House insiders report that Stephen Miller, President Trump’s senior advisor and go-to immigration guy, is no longer the point man. Instead, going forward, the president will rely on his immigration know-nothing son-in-law Jared Kushner. Slight correction: Kushner isn’t quite a complete immigration dunce. He’s savvy enough to realize that some types of immigration can work to his financial benefit, as he demonstrated during an overseas EB-5 sales promotion his company organized two years ago.
Replacing Miller with Kushner is a double loss for Americans who long for and deserve an immigration policy that works for and not against their best interests. As long as Miller carried the “hardliner” label, at least President Trump’s supporters knew they had a voice in the White House. But with the unelected pro-expansionist, Kushner having the easiest access to the president on immigration, bad advice is the most likely outcome.
But not everything that’s happened in recent days is doom and gloom. Denials of first-time non-immigrant H-1B visas are up significantly. The State Department also announced that immigrant visa applications have been denied at a higher than normal rate, a development that might be related to President Trump’s request that the public charge regulations be more strictly carried out. That is, no prospective immigrant who is likely to need public services to sustain himself should be admitted.
A San Diego Union-Tribune story provided the details about the steep H-1B visa rejections. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data showed that denial rates for first-time H-1B visa applicants increased from 6 percent to 24 percent between fiscal years 2015 and 2018. The rejection trend continues upward. Through the first half of fiscal year 2019, USCIS denied a whopping 33 percent of initial H-1B visa applications, data reflected. Overdue but still welcome, the declining approvals represent a win for U.S. tech workers and their advocates, but a stinging defeat for corporations addicted to cheap labor who consistently pass over Americans in favor of lower cost overseas employees.
Reuters covered the story of immigrants as potential public charges and concluded with this observation: “More and more aspiring immigrants – especially Mexicans – are being denied visas based on determinations by the U.S. State Department that they might become ‘public charges’ dependent on the government for support, according to official data and interviews with attorneys, immigrants and their family members.”
Neither the SDUT or Reuters commented on the full implications of continuing the H-1B status quo and the come-one, come-all call of too many politicians, regardless of whether the new immigrants become contributors or social service dependents.
Although H-1Bs enter on a temporary visa that displaces qualified American tech workers, it is a dual-intent visa, and can lead to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. H-1B spouses (H-4s) are also work authorized, due to a change made by the Obama administration. The couples will raise families while in the U.S. and petition their relatives at about a rate of 3.5 persons per permanent resident – population-busting chain migration that contributes significantly to urban sprawl and overcrowding in schools and hospitals.
As for public charge legal immigrants, they too receive lifetime valid work permits, and have the same petitioning privileges as other lawful permanent residents – and with the same effect on population growth and sprawl.
Literally dozens of nonpartisan studies have found that the H-1B visa hurts U.S. tech workers and that continued high legal immigration, more than 1 million annually, is unsustainable. In March, Bloomberg Law quoted an IT consultant who came to the U.S. on an H-1B visa in 1999 and said that the conditions that have been created exploit H-1B workers and drive out everyone else.
Assuming slight decreases from our current level of immigration, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2060, the U.S. will add another 76 million people, up from today’s 329 million.
Immigration and employment visa expansionists have enjoyed 30 years of mostly uninterrupted success. But nothing lasts forever, and the Trump administration’s moves to limit the H-1B visa and legal immigration are overdue and welcome.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at [email protected].