While Americans have found it difficult to stay employed, the influential business lobby has been pressing President Joe Biden to expand the proportion of foreign visa workers that they are allowed to hire to the greatest level ever.
In a letter to Biden, over 130 special interest business organizations—such as several Chamber of Commerce segments, construction firms, farms, landscaping companies, restaurants, and retail stores—asked him to increase the number of foreign workers entering the country on visas to fill millions of open positions in the country.
The business organizations ask that the government “expand a special category of permits for immigration for those who are able to fill positions where shortages of labor exist, individuals who are migrating to the US from other countries, and for long-term immigrant individuals like DREAMers, farmers, and essential workers.”
In addition to the more than a million foreign workers who come to the United States on visas explicitly to accept employment there, the country already imports over a million legal immigrants with green cards every year. Similar to this, hundreds of people crossing the southern border are receiving work permits under Biden.
Business organizations specifically cited a plan supported by Republican governors Eric Holcomb of Indiana along with Spencer Cox of Utah that would allow states to import foreign workers on visas whenever private sector employers in those states determined that there was a labor shortage that couldn’t be filled by Americans.
“One plan proposed by GOP governors, Eric Holcomb of Indiana along with Spencer Cox of Utah, would make it possible for states to sponsor immigrant laborers,” the business organizations wrote:
“States might choose how many visas are required annually for particular vocations with that authority. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) along with Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are both in favor of the proposal.”
“Given that Congress is unable to pass permanent immigration reform, we turn to your administration to broaden the use of visas under existing rules and grant states the power to address their workforce needs, so that immigrants are treated humanely and that companies can reactivate the forces that propel state and national economies,” the letter reads.
“Biden has inflated the country’s labor market by means of mass immigration while remaining mostly unconcerned with the problem of Americans losing employment, according to the latest drive by special interest corporate organizations to allow a continual flow of foreign visa workers to recruit.”
For instance, last year witnessed the greatest percentage of foreign-born employees in the U.S. labor market in over 30 years at over 18%, with almost 30 million of them now working here.
The proportion of Americans who are employed has decreased by 0.5%. The unemployment rate for employees who were born abroad was also lower last year than it was for Americans (3.4 percent vs. 3.7 percent).
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) recently documented the benefits of foreign visa workers entering the American labor market, including reduced salaries for native-born employees in the working class and more competition from foreign workers.
By a wide margin, Americans believe that instead of the government hiring foreign employees on their behalf, companies should do more to entice individuals who are not actively seeking employment to join them.
When faced with a labor shortage, nearly 6 in 10 respondents in the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll said it is “better for companies to boost the pay and strive harder to lure in non-working Americans regardless of whether it causes prices to increase”. Only 26% of respondents agreed that it would be preferable for the government to supply these enterprises with foreign employees to recruit.