Labor Shortage?
So, why Slow Down Immigration?

Among the effects of the COVID pandemic on the U.S. is a serious labor shortage. It contributes to the delivery problem which adds to price inflation. It contributes to production shortages which also aggravate inflation. “Now hiring” signs can be seen all over Pennsylvania and around the country.

The labor shortage in 2022 results from a combination of factors.

The Democrats’ Build Back Better bill, if passed by the Senate, may resolve, over time, problems 3 and 4. But that will leave us with the first two, a reduced population of able working age established Americans.

America has traditionally solved shortages in the labor force by increasing immigration. In fact, immigration by people who are willing to work for low wages in boom times has played a significant role in the creation of one of the world’s most powerful economies.

However, we are now in a situation where many Americans, fed Republican propaganda, think that every job given to an immigrant is taken away from an established American worker. This is simply untrue, as the labor shortage proves. America has not been a beacon in the night for people fleeing from oppression because Americans are altruistic. America has become that beacon because U.S. industry and farming thrives on low-wage workers hoping to succeed in a thriving economy.

President Trump rode to victory promising to build an impenetrable fence on the U.S. border with Mexico, blithely ignoring the fact that more immigrants come from Asia than Mexico, borne out by the Pew Research Center. He then demonized Mexicans and other Hispanics as criminals, rapists, drug runners, murderers and terrorists — some sick with COVID, expecting the Mexican government to pay for that wall.

But even before Trump, the most recent immigration acts have restricted immigration. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it illegal to hire or recruit “illegal” immigrants. The last act in 1990 reduced the number of “legal” immigrants to less than 700,000 per year.

Both these acts were restrictions on immigration and what immigrants could do if they get here

The solution to the labor shortage is to provide a short path to citizenship for those who have been here for years and intelligently loosen restrictions on all immigration. If Republicans fear that a majority of the additional immigrants will vote for Democrats, they should show more understanding for what immigrants represent for our culture and economy, and respect them for their contributions.

(Sunbury Daily Item, (December 4, 2021)

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