I am in New York attending the Eastern Economic Association meetings. I was in an agent-based modeling session in which two partticipants participated by internet because they were both refused visaas to enter the US. One was from Turkey, which I think is under strict review by the current administration. The other, a woman from India, working for an American think tank in Toronto, may have simply been a victim of somebody messing up and being too slow in getting the appropriate application forms in on time. But I am sure the deal on the Turkish participant was new policy.
Their presentations, on self-organizing hierarchies and cryptocurrency dynamics, mostly got through to us. But even with this high-tech ABM crowd there were problems and glitches and occasional disconnctions. It should not have been this way.
This is just dumb obvious. You arbitrarily keep smart foreigners out of your country, this will lead to intellectual degradation.
The first thought of any economist is to look at supply and demand. There is a long standing literature showing that as more foreigners enter a field, the more natives get pushed out, and this is true of whatever country you look at. Supply going up means wages going down. About the only way you look at wages in Miami in the 1980s and pretend there was no cocaine boom. In the US you even see that in grad school – Borjas had a few papers on that. Here’s a recent paper that lis echoed by any number of others: http://ftp.iza.org/dp9920.pdf
From the abstract:
Last I checked there’s a push on to increase the number of black males and women in STEM. Advocating for a policy that goes the other way should require one to at least admit one is pushing in the opposite direction.
Even more problematically, what constitutes “highly educated” in location a is not the same as “highly educated” in location b: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03050068.2017.1403676?journalCode=cced20 (again – a bunch of other studies show the same thing)
And the left-leaning Migration Policy Institute published a paper (https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/through-immigrant-lens-piaac-assessment-competencies-adults-united-states) finding:
Granted, the test is in English, but that is the lingua franca over here, and MPI finds a problem not just in literacy but also numeracy.
Accepting lower wages in the native population makes sense if it leads to an improvement in the population’s well being in some other way, such as by boosting the overall proficiency, output, or prowess in the country. It is easy to point to individuals like von Braun, von Neumann, and Einstein to suggest that we tended to see such a situation was definitely in place in the middle of the last century. MPI’s quote above suggests that on average, things may have changed.
I note that these are not visas for going to school, much less immigration. This is short ones for attending conferences. I had already heard of this problem, and it is something the Trump admin has been doing. Frankly, it seems to be directed at people from certain countries, with one of these turned sown from Turkey, a Muslim nation.
Get it? This is not about jobs or Borjas. This is fake news “national security” horse manure.
Visa overstays account for a large share of the illegal population in the US.
And preventing short term visas has been going on for a while. Here’s something posted on AB back in 2009, well before anyone credibly believed Trump might conceivably be President:
Are restrictions greater under Trump? Clearly yes, at least for the last few years. My guess is that it isn’t intended to target people who go to conferences, but rather is part of a broader look at “academic” visa abuse. (E.g., I’ve run across a not insignificant number of people taking online courses and part way to their second or sometimes third BA or even master’s degree in some field tin which they have no mastery at all in order to maintain a student visa.) In a sane world where immigration wasn’t as polarized nuanced policies would make it into law.