More than 1 million people immigrate legally to the U.S. every year. Through august of 2021, there were 1.3 million encounters on the Southern border, putting us on track for close to 2 million encounters for the full year. Of these, between 30 and 40% will be allowed to stay in the country pending an immigration hearing. Thus, excluding those people who enter and don’t get caught, or give themselves up, this nearly doubles the number of immigrants entering our country.
This is not in and of itself a problem, but at the moment, we have a lot of challenges aside from this. We need to get our house in order, and we need to make sure our immigration policies benefit Americans first. We’re not educating our own kids now, yet we’ve started paying for in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. We DO have a labor shortage, but we need to address it purposefully, not just allowing those who chose to come to our border to enter. Here are some thoughts.
A labor shortage means higher wages even for low-wage entry-level workers. We ought to use this to help get people back into the workforce. There’s never been a better time to be a low-wage worker in the U.S., let’s make sure that people who opted out of the labor force can take advantage of that.
Link higher education funding to H1B requests. I.e., if companies are seeking significant amounts of workers in a given field, federal government funding for post-secondary education, ought to be responsive, and also try improve supply by educating our own citizens.