The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (SB 386) has been met with some resistance from citizens concerned about competing with immigrants for jobs despite the bill’s bipartisanship support.
The bill, which was proposed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, passed in the House by a vote of 365 to 65. It is co-sponsored by 20 Republicans and 15 Democrats including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA.
The bill’s purpose is to eliminate per-country caps on immigration, which would ensure a fair distribution of employment-based green cards. This would ensure the immigration system operates on a first-come, first-served basis, not on immigrants’ nationalities.
However, protestors who feel immigrants may pose as competition in the workplace argue that this bill will take jobs away from the American people. Hashtag’s such as #nosb386 and #S386isnotfair have flooded Twitter in opposition to the bill. The Twitter account @NoSb386, for example, discussed the issues with the bill.
“S386 will create Visa discrimination in our EB Immigration system. Let’s fix the problem by not creating a new one. #NOS386 #Discrimination #S386isNotFair #PassS2603,” @Nosb386 tweeted.
The owner of the Twitter account declined to answer questions from a Daily Universe reporter.
Lee said the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act does not take away jobs from the American people and that those who believe this do not understand it.
“The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act ends the existing country-of-origin discrimination that exists in current immigration law,” Lee said.
He added that the bill does not increase the number of green cards available for immigrants in any way, nor does it favor any country over another. Instead, it puts all countries on a level playing field.
From Lee’s perspective, the bill is not a fix-all solution for the immigration issues in America, but it is a step in the right direction. He said the immigration system should be treating immigrants as humans, not treating them differently based on their race, religion, sex or national origin.
BYU professor Bruce Money said he supports the bill and is an advocate of a free-trade economy. He said the issues behind the bill involve the globalization of markets. According to Money, if the nation pursues Trump’s brand of nationalism, things will not work out in the long run.
“If we as a country horde our resources and jobs, throwing up barriers to international trade, our consumer demand and economy will be dampened,” Money said.
Money believes it is better for the American economy to have people of all backgrounds and experiences provide new perspectives which will boost the American economy.
He said the way to put America first is by working with others internationally and promoting a free-trade market — something he thinks the bill will support.
“I’m not in favor of ‘America first’ being interpreted as ‘America only,’” Money said.