Cutting visas for high-skilled immigrants won't lessen US economic pain and could stifle domestic innovation, new research suggests.
As the U.S. recession deepens and job losses mount, finding fault with foreigners is very much in vogue. The tendency reared its head recently as U.S. senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) began pushing for legislation that would restrict banks and other financial institutions from hiring immigrants on the temporary work permits known as H-1B visas.
Grassley and Saunders got their dander up after an Associated Press story detailed how big U.S. banks brought in skilled foreign labor during the six years before the financial crisis.
These workers entered the U.S. on H-1B visas and some firms (not necessarily these banks) found ways to pay H-1B workers less than Americans in comparable positions, the article claimed. Outraged by these findings, Sanders and Grassley pushed the Senate to pass legislation restricting banks from hiring H-1Bs.
Image: Joshua Persky, desperate to find a job, stands with his sandwich board advertisement in New York. | Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
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