Restricting immigration doesn't always go as intended : The Indicator from Planet Money Limiting high-skilled immigration to the U.S. may not save jobs for Americans; it might even cost jobs.

An Immigration Backfire?

An Immigration Backfire?

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Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images
This photo illustration shows a visa stamp on a foreign passport in Los Angeles on June 6, 2020 (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

On June 22nd, President Trump issued an executive order to restrict certain types of immigrants and temporary foreign workers from coming to the U.S. The order applied to future immigrants — not to those already here, or to those who were already approved to move here. Surprisingly, the order targeted not just so-called "low-skill" immigration, which has largely been the focus of the Trump administration's immigration agenda; it also restricted new H-1B visas, which traditionally go to foreign workers in the U.S. tech sector.

The rationale given by the president was that with so many Americans out of work right now, he did not want more people from other countries competing with Americans for the available jobs.

But the modern economy is technologically advanced, and globally connected. If businesses that want to find more workers are restricted from hiring immigrants, those businesses have a number of other options for how to get the work done.

And so it's possible that tightening immigration restrictions on these workers will not result in more jobs for Americans in the future. In fact, it might even result in fewer. Today's show features Maggie Peters, author of "Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization".

Britta Glennon: "How Do Restrictions on High-Skilled Immigration Affect Offshoring? Evidence from the H-1B Program"

Zachary Arnold: "Canada's Immigration System Increasingly Draws Talent from the United States"

Migration Policy Institute: "Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency"

Census Bureau: "Net International Migration Projected to Fall to Lowest Levels this Decade"

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