So I have been watching the recent immigration spectacle with a certain amount of amusement, speaking about the politics of it, of course. It was not long ago Democratic Senators were writing to the President asking him to curtail the flow of Syrian refugees to the US until they could be 100% certain that each refugee admitted is not affiliated with ISIS. And now, they are running around screaming about Trump’s executive order that does exactly what they asked for like the 1952 law that allows the President to determine admittance based on national origin is something Trump just took upon himself.
There have even been parallels drawn with the West’s refusal to admit Jewish refugees in WWII. It’s a little surprising given that there have been wars and refugee crises all throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, even more still going on in Burma and in Africa. I hardly ever recall them being taken in. Jimmy Carter, of all people, instituted the same sort of ban on Iranian refugees in the 1970’s (excepting the Shaw, of course). Reagan expanded it to include Libya and Lebanon in the 1980’s. I lost track of it after that. It is standard procedure – part of the bubble of reality we’ve lived with every day since 1952 – and not really worth second guessing.
It really amazes me how blind some people are because there were actually two immigration orders from Trump. One of them we have heard about endlessly, the travel ban. The other one is much more impactful, and I’ll give you a hint. There are several different types of visas, two that are work related are the H1B and the EITN. The EITN is all NAFTA, South and Central Americans, and Canadians.
The executive order we’ve been hearing about is regarding H1B’s and other asylum. The larger chunk of immigration turmoil is the notice of intent to pull out of NAFTA. Technically speaking, if NAFTA is no longer in force, guess where the EITN holders go. HOME.
My company was trying to hire more people from south of the border and we simply cannot do it. Now the other 8 people with EITN visas that we have in our group can’t go on vacation back home because they won’t be let back in.
I have to admit that my personal experience of the Great Recession has left me jaded. I look around at work and I don’t like what I see. I know many people who are still looking for work or who had to pack up and start over somewhere else. We had eight openings in the last half of 2016, not a single one went to a local person, and the company didn’t even try to find some. The directive from HR was: EITN or pound sand. The other part of it is that if the customer had not spun off the services division into a separate company, I would have found myself right back in the line for UI while an EITN dude would be sitting in my cube. I had to take the team lead position with no raise (and now I feel like all I am is work). It’s no joke that it is something that I can’t even allow myself to think about during the day or I would just break down bawling, because it isn’t just lowering wages – it is entirely fostering passport discrimination and leaving locals with nothing.
Now for all of the people who keep insisting that NAFTA is free trade (I don’t believe that it is) and we are all so much better off with it than without, please explain this phenomenon to me – ample supply of skilled local labor that can be gotten at a discount, and we get all EITN’s. The system is BROKEN when the company would rather go through the hassle of getting someone who otherwise wouldn’t be here despite a large pool of skilled labor to choose from. I can say after having to train the people we got, that the majority of them were not qualified and I could have just as easily trained a willing welfare mom.
PS: When I read those articles about a “skilled labor shortage” they make me want to vomit. That is the biggest line of BS since Bernanke tried to convince everyone the Fed had nothing to do with 12% unemployment.