Trump is right to encourage legal pathways to U.S. citizenship

by Lisa Noeth

Op-ed by Lisa Noeth | Photo: Alamy

President Trump slammed Biden on his open-border immigration policies at his first rally after the verdict in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 9. 

As a proponent of legal immigration, President Trump emphasized that Hispanic Americans and African Americans are suffering the most under the Biden administration’s open borders. Las Vegas consists of a rapidly growing diverse population. He explained that Biden’s policies are turning Nevada into an absolute dumping ground.

Over the past four years, America’s labor market has undergone significant changes throughout all industries affected by illegal immigration. President Trump underscored the growing concern of American workers witnessing challenges with a decline in job security while illegal immigrants are flooding the U.S. workforce, particularly in lower-wage jobs.

Businesses are employing illegal immigrants at lower wages because they are willing to accept wages at significantly lower rates and fewer benefits. Under Biden’s failed immigration policy, in the last 3.5 years, illegal immigrants have started to fill the positions once held by American workers. This is leading to a noticeable shift in the American workforce dynamics.

A local Las Vegas plumber spoke about his perspective on the shift of illegal immigrants taking over landscaping and construction jobs.  He said illegal immigrants do not have the proper training from apprenticeship programs to develop the necessary skills in specific trades to fill key shortages.

The issue of illegal immigrants taking American jobs and disproportionally affecting the minority community is not just a labor concern but also a wider ripple effect of social and economic implications.

The legal basis of U.S. employment-based and family-based immigration

For many immigrants, the American Dream is achievable to obtain a better life here in the U.S. through legal employment-based or family-based immigration explained below by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Employment-based immigration visas allow qualified and highly skilled foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. through self-petition or employment opportunities with a U.S. employer’s job offer. These opportunities include temporary H-1B visas for foreign national college graduates in specialty occupations through the lottery system for bachelor’s degrees and the master’s degree cap exemption.

Moreover, extraordinary foreign nationals in the EB-1 visa category are at the top of their field in the arts, research, science, business, multinational executives, or managers.

Additional employment-based immigration opportunities for foreign nationals also include the EB-2 category, also known as the National Wavier Interest (NIW) visa, for foreign national professionals with advanced degrees in the arts, science, and business. This specific visa category calls for foreign nationals who will benefit the U.S. economy through various industries, including education, technology, science, or healthcare.

Many foreign nationals are also sponsored by their employer with a U.S. job offer as either unskilled or skilled workers and professionals under the EB-3 visa. For skilled workers, the EB-3 category requires at least two years of training or experience and a bachelor’s degree. This specific visa takes several stages for a foreign national to obtain a green card. U.S. employers must first obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor also known as the PERM process. The PERM process ensures foreign nationals are given a fair wage. Next, U.S. employers need to test the U.S. labor market before filing the PERM application.

The pathway to citizenship under the EB-3 category’s processing time is drawn out for years for foreign nationals to obtain their green card based on their priority date, especially for Indian and Chinese foreign national workers. The EB-3 category specifically addresses the shortage of healthcare workers in the United States, particularly in the Filipino American community consisting of overseas nurses from the Philippines.

Another important employment-based immigration visa is the immigrant investor visa, also known as the EB-5 visa category. This category is for investors who invest $800,000 in active businesses to create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers in either designated rural areas or targeted employment areas with high unemployment rates.

Meanwhile, family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their family members and relatives for green cards. TLC’s hit popular series, 90 Day Fiancé, primarily depicts the K-1 fiancé visa process.

The American Dream is greatly imprinted in the hearts of foreign nationals, who are waiting in line for years based on their priority date to adjust their status in the United States lawfully or to apply for their U.S. immigrant visa abroad at the U.S. consulate.

The legal U.S. immigration process is also expensive for foreign nations to pay for attorney fees and USCIS filing fees for the immigrant filing forms, which range from thousands of dollars depending on the visa category. Proper documentation is also necessary as supporting evidence for each foreign nation’s visa upon applying for the green card application, which can consist of hundreds of pages depending on which visa category they apply for.

Biden’s open-border policy is unfair to foreign nationals entering the U.S. in accordance with USCIS and the Department of State’s immigration laws.

It’s time to enforce our legal employment-based and family-based immigration laws under President Trump

The Democrats continue to use scare tactics, particularly with the Asian American and Hispanic communities, in terms of illegal immigration. This is not true if you entered the U.S. legally.

President Trump will prioritize American citizens first again by closing our nation’s borders. This is an unprecedented national security threat under the Biden administration at the U.S.-Mexican border. Meanwhile, illegal immigration allows for a lack of labor protection, low wages, and benefits. This creates challenges as illegal immigrants are prone to exploitation by employers.

As a result, legal immigration provides a pathway to U.S. citizenship for foreign nationals worldwide who want to contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy. In the end, President Trump embraces foreign nationals entering the U.S. lawfully for permanent residency.

The solution is to elect President Trump to enforce legal employment-based and family-based immigration laws, which is a critical step in creating a balanced U.S. labor market to ensure the long-term health of the U.S. economy.

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