Does the US Visa System Harm Its Economy?
Recently I followed Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor at The Economist, on Linkedin after seeing a link to an article he posted regarding US immigration. You can find it here on Linkedin or view the original article he wrote in the Economist, here.
The gist of the article is that US immigration reform of the past years has lead to a sharp reduction in the number of H1B skilled worker visas being issued, and that this will have an overall negative effect on the US economy. A major point being made is that overall, skilled immigrants in the US are stronger net contributors the the US economy, with this group being more likely than a US citizen to start their own companies (creating jobs for Americans etc…).
I’m naturally a big supporter of skilled migration flow between countries, the benefits speak for themselves in many ways, and my overriding belief is that in the end both the immigrant and their host country end up as winners since both are helping each other fulfill their needs (value generation from hiring the right person on one side, and providing employment on the other). What surprises me though is the number of people that are extremely critical of Matthews call for an increased number of skilled migrant visas, just look at the comments field!
Most peoples ‘fear’ if you can call it that of immigrants stems not just from grouping together many different groups of migrants that have nothing in common, but from small mindedness and a lack of understanding the nature of global business. After all, without global migration a number of the world’s successful economies of today (the US leading the pack), would not exist today in the first place. It is only by supporting those who are ambitious and courageous enough to seek out bigger and better opportunities that we will continue to improve the societies in which we live.
If you’re still sceptical about the benefits skilled immigrants can bring to your country, have a look at this article about the world’s most successful immigrants, working hard to create jobs and support the economy.