Presidential aspirants always have a bucket full of theatrics for the audience. It ranges from innovation to strict reforms. The 2016 US Presidential election is not an exception to it. Donald Trump, entrepreneur turned politician, has rolled the dice; a real immigration reform is in the card. The J1 visa program has become his prime target.
According to him, foreign workers are trouble for the domestic workforce. These foreign workers can work at a minimum wage, which overall affects the working class Americans. His website reads, “Every year, we voluntarily admit another 2 million new immigrants, guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants.”
He has spoken about three core principles for a strong immigration reform. First, a nation without borders is not a nation. There should be a wall across the southern border. Second, a nation without laws is not a nation. Laws that are passed in accordance with the constitutional system of government should be enforced. Third, a nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan should improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans
Under the J1 visa program, thousands of students come to the USA. But lately the J1 visa, according to Trump, is a victim of systematic abuse. He quotes National Public Radio (NPR) report, which states that the State Department to curtail the number of students permitted to come to the US to about 90,000 a year, from a peak of about 150,000 a year. There is consensus among organizations and other key individuals that the guest workers are at first exploited and then used to undercut the local workforce demand. In the end, the jobs that are offered are low-wage in nature.
Mr. Trump wishes to create a ‘resume bank’ like an employment exchange service for the inner city youth. He is keen on introducing a new law that would compel the employers to hire the domestic workforce. He also wishes to put an end to the naturalization of the citizen rights of American children born to illegal immigrants.
He also believes illegal immigrants as a national threat. So he is advocating for penalties in case of individuals overstaying a visa. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement report 2015, there were 200,799 international students enrolled for work. Normally the jobs included in J1 visa include ‘au pair’, ‘camp counselor’, ‘short-term scholar’, ‘specialist’ and ‘teacher’. But the final scene is different. Students are mostly found working in retail and hospitality.
Many foreign students come to the U.S. every year through the exchange program to meet the child care needs of American parents. But they are often exploited to a great extent by their corporate sponsors. Because, sponsors don’t have to pay the worker the kind of wage approved and certified by the Department of Labor. The certified wage meets the criteria of protecting the wage of U.S workforce. But the corporates are increasingly paying the lowest wage possible.
Trump also wishes to deport every illegal immigrant without permission.