According to a very interesting entry posted on Jay Hancock’s blog on baltimoresun.com: “So immigration is another way out of the deficit debacle. The national debt just surpassed $10 trillion and will surely head higher. We need new taxpayers to help pay it off. There are nearly 20 million vacant homes and apartments across the United States. We need new renters and owners to live in them. There are companies that can’t find enough competent employees. We need new workers to help them grow. There are retailers going bankrupt. We need new consumers to buy their stuff.”
As hard as it will be, the new Administration and Congress need to carefully address immigration and fix our system. The anti-immigrants are hard at work using scare tactics to decrease or eliminate certain categories of immigration altogether. They are after both legal immigrants as well as the undocumented.
As an amendment to the stimulus bill, the Senate has introduced an amendment that would retrict banks receiving bail-out money from hiring H-1B workers under certain conditions. According to the Associated Press: “The legislation by Sens. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would require the banks to seek American workers before turning to foreign nationals when they’re hiring. It aims to prevent replacement of Americans by foreigners working under the H-1B visa program, which allows employers to bring in workers for high-skilled and advanced-degree jobs.”
Getting more Americans employed is a noble goal. A counter-argument to restricting H-1B hiring is that banks should hire the best and the brightest to help get them out of this mess and if these individuals happen to be foreign-nationals in H-1B status, so be it. It seems to me that forcing the banks to start lending out a portion of the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-payer money they are receiving would be a much more useful component of the stimulus package. We will see what comes out of conference in the next week or so.