There was a time when Republicans were only against illegal immigration of the Hispanic variety. President Donald Trump’s executive order cracking down on H-1Bs today shows that those days are gone. Now it is open season on all immigrants — legal, illegal; low-skilled, high-skilled.
Immigration foes have used stories about Disney and Southern California Edison to argue that companies use the H-1B visa program to replace American workers with cheap labor, not obtain specialized talent that they can’t find at home. But National Foundation for American Policy’s Stuart Anderson shows that there is more to the Disney and Edison cases than meets the eye. Moreover, these fallacious examples fly in the face of credible studies that debunk restrictionist claims that foreign professionals hurt American wages and jobs. He writes:
The central flaw in arguments alleging a negative impact on native employment due to the presence of foreign scientists and engineers is that they are based on the “lump of labor fallacy” – or the notion that there is a fixed number of jobs in the economy. Hence, the argument goes, if you increase the number of workers, you get lower wages and rising unemployment. But high-skilled tech workers grow the economic pie by boosting productivity, encouraging more investment and increasing entrepreneurship. Overall, they create jobs.