Our Democracy is under attack.
We have lived in America for forty years. Our children, our grandchildren are first and second generation Americans. And what was strange and uncomfortable for us, new immigrants, is now a norm. We see people from all over the world anywhere we go. At work, in the gym, in the store. Our kids have friends who’s parents came from India, China, Korea and many other countries. And this is America. And I like it this way. I love to go to different ethnic restaurants, food stores and learn about ethnic food. To me, to our family this is just great.
And that is why it is so sad, so disturbing and disheartening to witness our current administration and it’s inhumane, mean-spirited and hateful anti-immigration rhetoric and policies.
It is damaging to our Democracy, American economy, American leadership in the world. Trump’s hateful words, short sited policies are poisoning our society, destabilizing American institutions and are tearing the country apart.
Immigration, in my opinion, is the most troubling and the most important issue for our country. But especially crucial during the Trump administration. Starting with the undeniable fact that America is a country of immigrants. Here is a sample chart:
I will not go too deep into history because of constraints of time and space but below are a couple of US anti-immigration policies of the past. Here is a list of some people the US did not want in America:
Now it is almost everybody except Europeans (maybe).
To be sure I am not advocating unrestricted entrance for everybody who is trying to come to America. We do need strong borders and customs. People need to be vetted in order to get permission.
Anti-immigration attitudes in America are as old as the country.
“By 1924, the United States had constructed a web of legislation that effectively barred any Asian immigration. It would stay in place until World War II, when the United States was shamed into dismantling the ban by its ally, China. Still, Trump and his advisers look to the time when the United States locked its doors to immigration as a golden era. No wonder his rhetoric sounds so familiar.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/31/trump-takes-us-back-to-the-darkest-days-of-american-xenophobia/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7b20ce34224a
The adverse effects of anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration.
World opinion about America as a “shining city on the hill”, a great friendly Democracy. It is changing. No more “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Draconian anti -immigration policies destroying America from within. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric energized all sorts of hate groups. On the right and, as counter, on the left.
Extreme shortage of skilled labor.The skills gap is widening, unemployment in the U.S. is at its lowest rate since 2000, and nearly 60% of employers struggle to fill job vacancies within 12 weeks. But if you think it’s tough to find great talent now, new research from the Korn Ferry Institutesuggests that things are only going to get worse. https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2018/industries-biggest-talent-shortages-2030
Knowledge-intensive industries like financial services will be some of the hardest hit. These industries require a high volume of skilled workers—and as demand outpaces supply, competition for qualified candidates will soar. This is especially true in countries where unemployment is low, since employed workers have much less incentive to retrain, re-skill, or enter a new field.
Falling immigration causes companies to move abroad.Microsoft does not want to move jobs out of the United States but certain decisions out of Washington could potentially force its hands, the company’s President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, warned. From a report: The Trump Administration’s tough stance on immigration has attracted a lot of criticism from big technology firms, which rely heavily on skilled foreign workers from around the world. Smith previously spoke out against efforts to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — an Obama-era policy that provides legal protection for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Microsoft has advocated the protection of DACA and more broadly supported immigration as a way to make sure U.S. companies are hiring talented people. “We do worry about a couple of the very specific immigration questions that people appear to be debating in Washington,” Smith told CNBC’s Akiko Fujita in an interview on Wednesday. https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/07/12/1148231/microsoft-could-move-some-jobs-abroad-because-of-us-immigration-policies-top-exec-says
Competition for skilled employees will intensify. And the US was in a great position because people wanted to come here from all over the world to live and to work. And what do we do? The Trump administration is trying to discourage graduating students to remain here, and pushing away skilled people with it’s anti-immigration policies.
Because of concerns about high skilled people, some high tech companies are considering moving some of their operations abroad.
Farmers are suffering because of a shortage of farm workers.
A S maller number of low skilled workers come to the US creating labor shortages for farmers.
“The American Farm Bureau Federation projects $5 billion to $9 billion in annual produce-industry losses because of the labor shortages, which have become commonplace for farmers such as Torrey, who said there were 10 applicants for every job five years ago.” https://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/05/business/fewer-workers-cross-border-creating-us-farm-labor-shortage/
Foreign students . Since Trump became president foreign students are having difficulties staying and working in US due to more hurdles created by the Trump administration that is trying to encourage companies to hire Americans. The problem is that there is a severe shortage of qualified people to fill positions in knowledge-based sectors like finance, computer science, programming and engineering.
Smaller number of high skilled immigrants coming to US.
“Many talented foreign students come to the U.S. to study and hope to stay for work. But they are leaving the country in droves after earning their degrees, deploying their knowledge and skills outside of America. The U.S. immigration system does not retain this talent effectively, and recent decisions have made the system worse.” https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/408949-as-washington-ignores-high-skill-immigration-debate-us
“Following the Trump administration’s executive order last spring encouraging employers to “hire American,” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has requested further information from a rising number of H-1B applicants, lengthening their time of uncertainty as they wait for word about whether they can stay and work in the U.S. This includes international students like Huang, the UVA grad hoping to start her new job. There is no data available to show if this is happening more frequently to international students than it was under the prior administration.” https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/10/599219792/u-s-degree-check-u-s-work-visa-still-a-challenge
So here is an interesting contradiction in current administration policies.
On the one hand it started a trade war with China trying to stop it from stealing intellectual property from the US.
On the other hand the Trump administration created hostile policies discouraging graduate students from staying and working here. So we are teaching the best and the brightest in American universities and than Trump kicks them out to go and work for our competitors like China.
Does it makes any sense?
I sincerely hope that this situation is a temporary setback, that our democracy is strong and resilient and will survive.
“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Let’s be strong my friends.