A phony Immigration Ploy:  The Donald Trump administration’s planned measures to help American graduates find jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic may backfire in the long term.

The U.S. government has proposed several restrictions on foreign skilled workers, which it believes will open up opportunities for locals.  However , a recent University of California San Diego immigrant rights study has said immigrant rights enhance the lives and livelihoods of native workers in many ways such as improvement in incomes, sparking innovation, reducing crime, and increasing tax revenues.

“We find there are several areas where strengthening migrant workers, outweighing any cost borne by them,” researchers Gaurav Khanna and Anna Brown found.

More bad news the research comes after Trump hit pause on immigration into the U.S. via employment and family routes in April, affecting more than 20,000 people each month.  A letter from a group of four Republican senators urged Trump to suspend the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT), which allows international students to work in the US for up to three years.  Six days later, the New York Times reported Trump is considering barring the issuance of new visas in certain employment-based categories, including H-1B.

Here’s a break-down of how hurting immigrant sentiment is tied to welfare of the U.S. economy:  Any change to immigrant laws could hurt the U.S.’s long-term plans around innovation and new ventures because giving immigrants legal permanence and a sense of stability incentives local investments.

Around 45% of Fortune 500 companies have been founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.  These companies amass more than $6 trillion in revenue per year and include tech giants like Google-Alphabet, Microsoft, Tesla, and Apple.  A previous study by Khanna revealed that hiring H-1B workers was strongly associated with firms introducing newer products.

Threat of reverse brain drain

The report also says America’s talent crunch could worsen if foreign professionals are not retained.

“When the U.S. crisis abates, there may be a scarcity of  high-skill professionals, which could stall a robust recovery,”

Most tech workers are employed under the H-1B program, which is only renewable for up to six years.  Workers  who are not on track for a green card have to return home.  “Such forces set into motion by the six-year H-1B limit, have shifted production from the United States to India,” the research states.  Extending the H-1B limit or making the green card process easier would allow employers to retain this high-skill talent.  And it’s not just about Silicon Valley.  The IT sector has downstream effects on other industries that use software, such as banking and manufacturing.

Higher wages, more jobs for locals a reality check

The presence of immigrants had a more favorable effect on incomes, the researchers found.  A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that granting legal status to migrant workers resulted in their wage rising by 15.1%.

A better tomorrow for America

Less crime:  Trump has often tried to draw a link between immigrants and rising crime rates.  But there is little truth in these claims.  Between 1970 and 2010, increases in immigration in U.S. metropolitan areas were correlated with decreases in both violent (homicides, assaults, etc.) and property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft, etc), past research shows.  Then, a 2007 study found that incarceration rates are lower for immigrants and far lower for newly arrived immigrants.

More taxes:  Contrary to popular belief, undocumented migrant workers pay taxes, mostly income taxes, which are estimated to be at $11.7 billion.  This number would rise by $2.2 billion if undocumented migrants were granted legal status.  For a country with $804 billion om fiscal debt, every penny counts.

Future workforce:  Children of currently undocumented individuals who are born in the US can join the country’s workforce, adding to productivity and expanding the tax base.

A new study shows Trump’s anti-immigration policies will end up hurting the U.S.


For additional information, and for a free copy of our Newsletter contact:

American Immigration Attorneys, PLLC

(386) 585-4384

We Can Help!


1 Florida Park Dr. Suite 314
Palm Coast, FL 32137
Phone: (386) 585-4384
Monday-Friday: 10am-4pm
Seeing clients strictly by appointment
Saturday-Sunday: Closed
footer contact form