This post is about the recent executive order by Honorable POTUS Donald J Trump. I am on H1B visa since Sep 2005. In my view this executive order is nothing but an eyewash to the people of US. I totally agree with POTUS comments on how the H1B is being abused to displace the American workers and how it is not really adding the economic value that it was intended to add. My disagreement is with the measures suggessted by the administration to handle this issue. These protectionist measures are not going to bring any significant outcome.

Protectionism never saves a job but empowerment does.

Lower the interest rate on student loans

The real way to make US workers competitive in the market is not by denying H1B holders the opportunities in the market but to provide lot of financial assistance to the workers and students. It is painful to see lot of young people taking 2-5 years to land in a job that matches their skillset and offers decent pay. The interest rate for car loan and home loan is very very less compared to the interest rate on education loan especially from private institutions. The government is also cutting down the federal student loan grants and more and more students are now borrowing from private lenders. Government should bring down the interest rate for education loan from private lenders and also regulate the repayment terms and additional processing fees with the loans.

Make college education free or heavily subsidized

Education to a private individual is not a private gain it is a social value. It benefits the society by increasing over all living standards, lowers crime rates, motiviates people to help others. Why is government not making college education free? State governments blame federal government that they are not providing enough money to finance education in states. Making college education free will make US students competitive at a global level.

Western countries were known not to mix politics and religion, I guess they should do the same with education and politics.

Address workers’ displacement

As I mentioned in my earlier post Workers displacement – Please don’t blame legal immigrants government should focus on workers displacement happening due to demographics, technology, new business model, capital flow etc. Displacement of US workers by immigrants is very small in scale when compared to the displacement by these factors.

Remove the backlog in green card system

The real reason why the executive order suggesstion will not yield desired results is because of this one thing that is the huge backlog in the green card system for India, China, Mexico and Philippines. As long as the backlog is there wages won’t increase in this country for US workers. This backlog also tilts the market in favor of immigrants because employers can retain these employees for decades or as long as the worker is alive. Government should first focus on reducing this backlog. The first step for this is to pass the bill HR392.

Remove employer sponsored green card system

POTUS has already suggested that merit based green card system is the way to go. US is the only country in G7 that has employment based green card system. Abandoning this system is a must for the US workers to be competitive. Government can make it a mandate for employees brought on H1B to work of the employer who sponsored H1B for x number of years and then the employee should be able to initiate his permanent residence application process without requiring any authorization from the employer

Increase the welfare and safety net

One of the oxymorons applicable to US economy is “Retire Rich”. In today’s scenario with literally no safety net for anyone outside of their employment it is impractical to retire first of all. The Wall Street casino has looted and gambled the money of the people who gave 40 years of their prime life work to the economy. Government should start providing welfare and safety net for US citizens so that they are free to think about their future than thinking about the finance or survival.

I strongly urge government to take action at least in two areas one is passing the bill HR392 and the other is replacing employer sponsored green card system with merit based individual focused green card system.