As of the end of May 2020, 40 million new Americans have filed for unemployment since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

As part of President Trump’s deflect and re-direct strategy for re-casting doubts on his efficacy in handling this pandemic, he has also added scapegoating “the other” as part of his way of obviating blame to anyone except himself. His favorite scapegoat going back to his first campaign trailblazing days has always been, the immigrant.

Always touted in his native New York City as a savvy businessman who mastered the art of closing deals the Wharton School of Business graduate has decided to make an economic-based argument for his new policies and proposals, which will greatly reduce the issuance of visas, both temporary and permanent, thus reducing competition from foreigners for US jobs.

As the U.S. attempts to stay near the top of entrepreneurial growth and innovation on a global level, the need for a steady flow of brain capital and financial capital is undeniable. The President touted (and took the credit for) a national unemployment rate of 3% before the Coronavirus flipped everything upside down and took that rate to 20% in less time then it takes for a season to end. This 3% number essentially proved that any able-bodied, highly-trained and educated American could be employed if they wanted to be.

Then on April 22, the President issued an executive order pausing the issuance of immigrant visas, arguing that those individuals who entered the U.S. with those visas would essentially be free agents who could apply for any job and therefore were a threat to American workers. In actuality, the numbers are roughly 300,000 people per year of foreign nationals who might procure an immigrant visa and be able to come to the U.S. to work, compared to 40 million positions which had opened up recently. The economic argument underpinning this measure was akin to not adding one drop of water to the ocean,

The President also announced that the administration would be considering a pause on the issuance of non-immigrant visas, possibly for up to one year, and this is where the economic argument completely comes off the rails and this is why:

  • Many jobs accepted by foreign nationals lead to a net gain in job creation for companies and help lower U.S. unemployment
  • Many visas are issued to foreign entrepreneurs, who have created MILLIONS of jobs for Americans.

Pausing the issuance of these visas will lead to companies closing, the slowing down of innovation to a snail’s place and the shrinking of the U.S. economy. No new blood in the field of innovation also makes U.S. companies less profitable and leads to outsourcing to foreign countries, moving businesses out of the U.S., and discourages the future Google founders to even invest/set up in the U.S. It sends the wrong message of “We don’t need your innovation, ideas or money here”, which is all wrong and in the long-term very destructive.

I have had the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs from all over the world who have set up their companies in the U.S., companies which were not only profitable but based on the metrics that the President used to measure success by, created many American jobs. I would guess that my clients have created tens of thousands of jobs based on my being able to open the door to the U.S. for them and let them do their thing after. It is one of the things that I am proudest of. Millions of Americans benefit from the issuance of these visas because they create jobs that did not previously exist. Right now, many U.S. employers may not make it through this crisis and come out on the other side with the ability to offer their fired or furloughed employees employment again. Therefore, visas for highly-skilled foreign workers who make U.S. companies more profitable and able to expand, and for foreign entrepreneurs who bring their ideas and capital to the U.S. and must hire locally to implement their business plans and grow their companies, are more essential to the U.S. economy than ever.

The numbers don’t add up Mr. Trump. Taking this step to slow down or stop the issuance of these kinds of visas would only serve to further damage the U.S.’s future prospects of rebuilding and growing, and take away hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be created for Americans.