President Trump’s economic agenda has always been marked by a contradiction. He wants America to be the world’s high-tech business hub, but then he closes off the human talent essential to stay globally competitive. That’s the import of his order Monday restricting legal work visas across the economy.
The order is a pander to the restrictionist right that claims to oppose illegal immigration but really wants to stop all immigration. “American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work,” the order says.
The order cites 17 million jobs lost in industries that use workers tied to H-2B [seasonal] nonimmigrant visas and more than 20 million in industries requesting H-1B and L [high-skilled] workers. But this double counts lost jobs and ignores that the labor market is highly complex and segmented.
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