Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Time for Congress to consider H1-B visa reform

By Merrill Matthews

A new study by three academic economists, Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih, both with UC Davis, and Chad Sparber of Colgate University, shows that wages rise fastest in U.S. cities with the greatest influx of highly skilled immigrants.

While one might be inclined to respond by saying, “Well, duh!,” highly skilled people, regardless of their nationality, tend to make and spend more money, raising the standard of living for everyone. But we live in intellectually, as well as politically, challenged times.

The study found that U.S. cities with the greatest increase of immigrants specializing in the STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and math) between 1990 and 2010 saw an increase in wages for college-educated, native-born Americans by 7 percentage points, and 3 percentage points for the non-college-educated population.

In other words, skilled immigrants are good for the economy and for your pocketbook.

And that makes sense. Besides spending more money on a wide range of goods and services, demand for these immigrants’ skills often pushes salaries higher in other fields as well.

However, we artificially limit these skilled workers by imposing a very low cap on the number of H1-B visas that allow them to work here. The current level is 65,000, plus another 20,000 with advanced degrees.

When the H1-B visa application opens in the spring, all of the slots are usually filled in less than a week, creating a huge waiting list.

Why do we impose that cap? Even if someone thinks low-skilled workers deprive Americans of blue-collar jobs, that argument doesn’t apply here. There are technology companies where jobs have gone unfilled for months just because they can’t find qualified applicants.

Ideally, Congress should remove the H1-B visa cap entirely. But if that’s too big a step, it could be phased up: perhaps doubling it the first year, tripling the second and quadrupling the third. A Senate bill that passed last June would double H1-B visas, so that’s at least a start.

Unfortunately, the politics of immigration reform are less clear than the economics, and news accounts indicate that both Republicans and Democrats share some blame. But maybe that will change. Both parties claim they want to move forward, and H1-B visa reform would be a good first step.

— Merrill Matthews, Ph.D., is resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Fire damages South Davis home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Gerber nominations close Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Explorit: Humming right along

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Spring sing-along is March 4

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Learn about your brain on March 14

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
A fill-up mishap

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Two free yoga classes offered March 12

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Take a night walk at Cache Creek

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tired of all of this

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Cavalier attitude about bike safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

Start early to build healthy dental habits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

 
No extra cost for containers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

Oral Health Project launches

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

 
Here an H, there an H

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Monticello announces March schedule

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

 
Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
.

Obituaries

Dieter W. Gruenwedel

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
George Miller Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Vernon E. Burton

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5