In February, when addressing the state of the union, Donald Trump the president of USA said that legal immigrants were welcomed in the country as they aid to strengthen and enrich the country.
These words were spoken on the basis that for a long time the States had been a significant beneficiary of high-skilled immigration with regards to job and wealth creation. However, according to recent research, for this to be in place, Trump’s administration must pave a way.
Ways are being sought by politicians to increase the competitive advantage of the country, empower the Labour market and also add growth to the economy. As such, this should be remembered as what is needed for the country as the application process for the H-1B visa is approaching.
In 1990, the H-1B visa program was created to permit the Tech and IT companies especially to hire international skilled workers; and for 29 years, this has contributed to the growth of businesses in the country, as well as innovations.
Also, the F-1 student visa has also helped in bringing the best talents globally to the country. About one million international students were in US universities and colleges in 2018, and they have contributed to the growth of the country’s economy as these students in 2017-2018 academic session supported above 455,000 jobs.
Benefits should be maintained
However, regardless of all these outstanding and obvious contributions to the growth of the economy, a barrier is still being posed by Trump’s administration.
The rate of approval of the H-1B visas has declined from 87% to 59% in 2016 and 2017 respectively, as well as the intense scrutiny of H-1B applications which have increased to 68.9% from 17.3% in 2017.
The number of international students in the US higher institutions has decreased to about 271,000 in 2017–2018 academic year, compared to 291,000 and 301,000 in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years respectively.
According to the college administrators and immigration policy experts, the hostility of the environment towards foreigners and immigrants created by the political climate in the country, as well as the restrictions of immigration by the administration have contributed to the above decline.
Policy makers are advised to learn for its northern neighbour, Canada, who in its recent years have unrestrained its visa system.
The policy makers are advised to raise the visa allocations to 115,000 from 65,000 under a more favourable system that will corresponds demand with supply, so as not to hinder the benefits enjoyed by the country through this visa programs.
The master’s degrees – the upper–limit cap- should also be increased to 195,000 rather than 85,000, as it was under the American Competitiveness in 21st Century Act (AC21) between 2001 and 2003.
With these, the country will continue to be a leader of entrepreneurial innovation, business growth and international talent globally.
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