“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens. I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
That’s what Donald J. Trump said in a tweet yesterday. This is yet another attempt by the current administration to use immigrants as a scapegoat, under the pretense of acting in the interest of public health. Speaking out against all forms of bigotry is a moral imperative. The following letter to the president explains why barring persons seeking to immigrate is a false narrative. Please feel free to copy the letter. (You will need to leave out the cited sources, as there is not enough space in the form.) As anyone who has written on behalf of Amnesty International knows, when writing to a head of state or elected official, it is very important to maintain a respectful tone.
Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
It was with grave concern I learned about your considering an Executive Order to close the United States to legal immigration. Most Americans are rightly worried about the novel coronavirus. However, if COVID-19 were the true reason for your action, a 14-day quarantine of persons entering the country would surely be the reasonable policy. This Executive order, therefore, strongly suggests that it is an anti-immigration policy, not public-health policy.
Reliable sources attest to the fact that immigrants are a net benefit to the country. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (2015), for each one immigrant, 1.2 jobs are created. An earlier NB.E.R. study (2010) finds that rather than costing American jobs, immigration “reduces the share of off-shored jobs.” Researchers at the Brookings Institute cite “…while immigrants represent about 15 percent of the general U.S. workforce, they account for around a quarter of entrepreneurs and a quarter of investors in the U.S.” Even the Cato Institute, a conservative organization, attests that “There are also enough differences between the skills of immigrants and natives, that most native-born workers’ wages end up going up. Almost all Americans workers are better off with immigration than without.”
I, therefore, urge you, Mr. President, to consider the net positive contributions immigrants bring to America and not pursue your Executive Order.
Hoban, B. (2017). “Do Immigrants ‘Steal’ Jobs from American Workers?” Brookings Now. Online at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2017/08/24/do-immigrants-steal-jobs-from-american-workers/
Hong, G. & McLaren, J. (2015). “Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?” NBER Working Paper, No. 21123. https://www.nber.org/papers/w21123.pdf
Lewis, E. (2017). “How Immigration Affects Workers: Two Wrong Models and One Right One.” Cato Journal, Vol. 37. No. 3, 461-472. https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2017/9/cato-journal-v37n3-3.pdf
Moobarak, A.M. (2017). “Does Immigration Create Jobs?” Yale Insights. Online at: https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/does-immigration-create-jobs
Ottaviano, G, Peri G. & Wright G. (2010). “Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs.” NBER Working Paper, No. 16439. https://www.nber.org/papers/w16439