Many people misunderstand fundamentally the immigration issue in the United States.
The American people do not want open borders. They have already said that they won’t tolerate it and won’t stand for it. And all immigrants must comply with U.S. Law- that is the price of admission.
That said, Americans are also not an anti-immigrant nation. Poll after poll suggests that broad anti-immigrant language does not meet with great receptivity.
In other words, Americans seem to want high walls (well-enforced immigration law) but wide gates (immigration laws that are just and make sense and are not unreasonably strict).
It is with that background that President Trump’s recent decision to expand the number of H-2B visas granted must be met with welcome.
The important fact here is that Trump is not going easy on illegal immigrants. These are visas granted to workers to legally come to the country for “seasonal non-agricultural workers, and are generally good for up to a year. The visas are sought by summer and winter resorts, as well as other seasonal businesses — from Maryland’s crab-picking plants to Alaska’s seafood processing industry.”
Anyone who has ever been to a Six Flags during the summer knows that many of the staff are foreign nationals, coming here to experience the country and work for the summer. It’s that kind of thing.
This is a move that makes sense. These people are not high threats to overstay, these are not illegals being given any special privilege. These are international laborers here to fill temporary needs.
These are the kind of solutions that are a part of a larger solution on immigration. Make the walls high- enforce immigration law. But make the gates wide- make these laws serve our current needs so that we are not cutting off our nose to spite our face.
The President should follow suit by expanding the number of H-1B Visas- those for highly technical workers. These accomplish two key goals. First, they fill key research and development needs that keep our country at the forefront of advancement technologically. Second, they take those skilled nerds away from other countries that are competing with us economically (like China). But mostly, they allow skilled laborers who had already gone to college or Ph.D. programs here to stay here and become the Americans that they already are culturally.
Round it out Mr. President. Enforce the laws and make them make sense. That is why we elected you in the first place.