Letter to President Trump

On Wednesday April 12, 2017 approximately 1,500 economists published an open letter to President Trump, highlighting the numerous benefits of immigration to the U.S economy and pressing for reform of the U.S immigration system.

The letter was organized by some of the most high-profile, influential media figures in the U.S, including Rupert Murdoch, the Partnership for a New American Economy, an organization launched by ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the American Action Forum. It was signed by economists who have served in various capacities for both previous Republican and Democrat Governments, in addition to six Nobel Laureates.

The letter affirmed that immigration facilitated economic growth, through job creation and increased wages, thereby allowing the U.S to obtain a competitive advantage in the global market. Although the letter accepted that immigration to the U.S could potentially impact U.S citizens with lower levels of educational attainment, it was said the benefits of immigration to the U.S economy far outweigh any potential negative impact.

Political Context

It would appear the campaign for a fair and just immigration system, which recognizes the valuable contribution made to US society by immigrants, is gaining momentum.

In March 2017, a survey published by the National Association of Business Economics revealed the majority of those questioned did not support the Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration. The survey suggested the majority of respondents believed reform of the much criticized H-1B visa program should be a greater priority to the U.S Government than the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Similarly, a recent study by the University of Buffalo and Southampton University found wages were markedly higher in cities with “immigrant friendly policies” than in cities with perceived “anti-immigrant policies”. The study therefore supports the assertions of the Partnership for a New American Economy, the American Action Forum and the National Association of Business Economics that immigration to the U.S, far from being a threat to economic stability, is actually vital to U.S economic growth and development.

Our View

In our view, the benefits of U.S immigration are clear. The E-2 visa, for example, facilitates capital investment in the U.S by foreign entrepreneurs (often with successful businesses elsewhere in the world), which leads to job creation for U.S citizens, improved infrastructure and a greater range of services within the U.S market.

Similarly the H-1B “specialty occupation” visa and the L-1 intracompany transferee visa enable talented individuals to be transferred to the U.S, allowing U.S firms to remain innovative in the highly competitive fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Indeed, some universities in the U.S require STEM graduates to fill faculty roles, due to a national shortage of STEM graduates.

The O-1 visa allows individuals of “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, education, business, arts and athletics to relocate to the U.S for a specified period of time, in order to share their unique talents and skills with the U.S and, in some cases, teach their skills to U.S citizens. The visa thereby assists in the development of a strong U.S workforce and enables the U.S to retain a high concentration of the world’s talent.

The B-1 and B-2 visas encourage foreign nationals to visit the U.S for business and tourism purposes, thereby increasing demand for U.S goods and services, leading to increased job creation and higher wages.

The family-based immigrant visas increase cultural diversity in the U.S, providing exposure to a variety of cultures and traditions and enriching the fabric of U.S society.

Although there is much dispute regarding the correct approach to U.S immigration, there is one fact on which everyone is agreed. The current U.S immigration framework, set in 1965, is no longer fit purpose in the 21st century. While the U.S immigration system is clearly in need of urgent reform, it is vital any reform harnesses the power of U.S immigration to boost economic growth and achieve economic prosperity.

Davies Legal

At Davies Legal, we provide advice and representation in connection with all U.S immigration matters. We provide a swift, diligent service at a competitive fixed fee and you can be sure your case will only ever be dealt with by your dedicated U.S immigration attorney. Call now for advice on how you can assist you in achieving your U.S immigration objectives and potentially make your American Dream a reality.

Published: 13th April 2017