For many years, people have migrated to the USA in a search of a better life. Since the previous centuries, more and more foreign residents have left their homes to find a job abroad. Looking for better perspectives and career growth is what motivates the majority of people from different parts of the world to seek employment opportunities elsewhere. World Wars I and II made many people escape from the fascist regime reigning in their homeland and travel to the place that was separated further from violence and able to offer refuge and safety to them. The USA became such a place. Being a multicultural and multinational country for centuries, the country has adapted workable legislation, capable of ensuring equality, human, and labor rights. Its government works for the people as they are the principle resource of its prosperity and economic growth.
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The increase in the number of immigrants comes from favorable working conditions, high demand for the qualified personnel, and stable market, maintained for decades. International programs available in the USA allow foreign students to come to the country for summer jobs by means of Work in Travel Program. Various universities offer visas for smart international students with further extensions of visas due to Optional Practical Training (OPT) (Peri, Shih, & Sparber, 2014). After such employment, the majority of students receive visa sponsorship, ending in the Green Card application process, permanent residence, and US citizenship. The specialists, intending to continue their career in the USA, include models, medical workers, chemists, software developers, military men, and other professionals. The redundancy of international representatives creates some competition to the local US residents and results in unemployment among the latter. At the same time, there remain fields of economy that need foreigners as labor force. Their employment is cheaper and their skills are better as compared to the residents who become less motivated to work at low-paid positions. The levelling of economy and market distribution in human resource demand is vital for employing foreign and US citizens because it will help overcome local unemployment, create jobs for international and domestic workers, and satisfy the interest of companies in foreigners without decreasing the competitiveness of US citizens.
The Necessity of Foreign Labor Force for Developing the Local US Human Resource
Acquiring cheap workforce has always been the promoting factor for developing the economy of any state and strengthening its political status. The history of migration to the USA starts from early 20th century. This powerful country held all necessary possibilities for the workers such as high demand for labor force, both qualified and unqualified, higher salaries as compared to their homeland, and a workable legislation. The USA managed to overcome the Great Depression in 1930, and the country suffered less in World Wars unlike European countries. Such realia helped the USA become the principal direction for migrant workers, so the state power had to take measures to stabilize the human resource.
The flows of immigration increased due to the economic recession in the 1970s, and the government had to apply some limitations. Employment authorization documents were necessary for the foreigners to have legal employment in the USA as many employers hired workers without documents (Castles, De Haas, & Miller, 2013). Yet, sanctions met resistance as the principal fields, such as medicine, business, and science, needed cheap workforce, and employees did not want to lose their lose jobs. The termination of guest program Bracero for Mexicans had a reverse effect and increased the numbers of illegal immigrants from the southern neighbor of the USA (Hirshcman, 2014). Thus, the government had to seek for an alternative to reduce illegal employment. Creating new jobs by means of quotas seemed a good idea for employing illegal immigrants.
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Consequently, establishing quotas proved to be promoting in the increase of immigrant flow for necessary jobs. Still, restricting illegal employment gave its result as well and complicated the life of illegal immigrants. Lower wages and the absence of qualified jobs pushed foreigners away. At the same time, employers showed less interest in illegal workers due to high fines. Making barriers for engaging skilled workers and their legal authorization as the means of employment allowed selecting well-qualified specialists, capable of leading the US market.
H1B visas, started in 1990, became the limiting norm for inviting high qualified specialists. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) specialists with college education became eligible to participate in the lottery (Peri, Shih, & Sparber, 2014). The foreigners from different parts of the world participate in the lottery, and 33-36% of them receive visas. TN visas came into action instead of the programs for Mexicans. Nevertheless, availability of TN visa for Canadians became an alternative as a larger number of professions became eligible for Mexican and Canadian citizens to work in the USA temporarily (U.S. Visas, n.d.). TN visas are advantageous as both spouses have the right to work in the USA. The representatives of other countries often opt for H1B work visas. Moreover, Globant, EPAM, and SoftServe are a few powerful global companies sponsoring such visas.
H1B sponsorship remains profitable for e-verified sponsoring companies, or those that are eligible to employ foreign students and international citizens. The advantage of H1B is that the company finds necessary workers and hires them. Then, the firm pays associated fees, applying to the US government (Kerr, 2013). Increasing of H1B cap from 65,000 to 85,000 people between 1990 and 2010, with numbers that reached 195,000 in 2000, is a direct consequence of economic advantage of taking the specialists from abroad (Kerr, 2013). Despite the prohibition for H4 dependents of H1B holders for employment, work visas remain high in demand.
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The principal motivation to agree on lower wages and temporary unemployment of the spouses lies in the possibility of e-verified companies to file for a Green Card. It also ties the H1B holder to the employing company (Peri, Shih, & Sparber, 2014; Kerr, 2013). However, H1B holders level the economy of the USA and help distribute the workforce across the country. They also impact the increase in employment of native college graduates who can have higher salaries. Such a program is able to fulfill the demand in the case of insufficiency of the personnel or lack of better qualified people for lower salaries. The increase in foreigners among the US residents is the result of convergence of legal norms and H1B program.
The inequality in salaries and the possibility to offer higher income for the natives also promote increasing the national savings for entrepreneurship. Due to the presence of foreigners, technological innovations on consumer and product markets stabilize the US market (Hirschman, 2014; Kerr, 2013). More to say, significant presence of foreigners allows sharing the knowledge and achievements with their homelands, thus promoting international partnership. Such tendencies also make other countries dependent on the market trends and processes, particularly in the IT-field. The latest technologies first appear in the USA, and then other countries inherit them due to partnership. The US army also deserves the same attention as IT due to more possibilities for foreign employees due to quotas.
The military sphere finds it advantageous to engage foreigners, namely third country national (TCN) workers. Increased immigration encouraged enrolling the citizens of other countries after 9/11 events and the war of Iraq (Li, 2015). The tendency to send foreigners to wars helps saving the lives of American citizens and creates in-country jobs on the domestic market. TCN have their native languages, a different mentality and thinking, which is helpful for the military service. At the same time, the US Armed Forces are among the most professional ones in the world in terms of weapons, tactics, and developing survival skills in severe conditions. For this reason, TCNs look for the employment in the US Army as the country is safe, and the skills acquired during the service are valuable (Li, 2015; Hirschman, 2014; Kerr, 2013). Moreover, the quotas, issued each year to recruit military people among foreigners, differ from visas. Thus, the government selects people unlike visa sponsorship, when this right belongs to the company. The government also should preserve workplaces for American citizens who often fail to compete with cheaper but cleverer foreigners. That is why strengthening local human resources is vital for overcoming increasing unemployment.
Developing local human resources should collide with available visa programs, enabling foreigners to work in certain regions that require the necessary personnel. Thus, the states and businesses in need of higher-paid workers should concentrate their efforts on native-born people. The cooperation in terms of increasing competitiveness of native human resource combines Workforce Investment Boards (WIB) and human resource training programs, applicable for four categories of workers (Blakely & Leigh, 2013). As the job trainings at schools is inefficient, local authorities together with WIB engage colleges into conducting such a learning for a better first employment of the graduates, comprising the first workers' category. The second one indicates people who are displaced from work and who seek re-employment. The programs organize centers for preventing permanent layoffs and recruiting for the firms that need this type of specialists. The third type anticipates incumbent workers inside the firm, needing to upgrade their qualification. Such workers need on-board trainings. The fourth category comprises potential employees. These people need particular attention to boost skills in the competitive environment. Efficient job advertisement will help engage the required people and direct their skills to necessary working environment.
Visa sponsorship and quotas comprise the existing ways of acquiring legal permission of employment in the USA. The sustainability of the US economic development needs the presence of foreign specialists who receive a lower salary. The military sphere, business fields, and IT need the representatives of other countries to boost foreign partnership, maintain high competitiveness for native-born specialists by attracting them with higher salaries, and ensuring their safety due to frequent quotas for the military professionals from abroad.
How it works
The migration of workforce to the USA is long-term process that has impacted the economy of the USA greatly. The number of people, working in the USA legally, arrive there as students, participating in H1B or TN programs for temporary work. This is quite a beneficial strategy for the American sponsoring firms and immigrants. Foreigners agree to receive lower wages as they want to work in sustainable market and keep their job to get a Green Card. The firms like having cheaper and often better-qualified workers to achieve higher revenues, being able to offer more competitive salaries to the natives.
The limitation in the number of H1B holders due to the lottery equals the number of foreign and local human resources, while maintaining high numbers of workers at the same time. To save the lives of its citizens, the US government issues military quotas for each year and engages foreigners for military actions, offering them a challenging environment in the best armed forces of the world.
The growth of local labor market alongside the development of business spheres is vital for maintaining the competitiveness of the US citizens. They should have better skills to be able to earn more as compared to the foreigners, winning visas, since the latter often have a greater experience. The engagement of the US authorities, organizations, and local colleges into joint efforts should lead to having super qualified US citizens. The presence of the competitive foreign personnel will help the US citizens acquire more highly-paid jobs and maintain proper employment for all representatives of American society.