Trump says he thinks it’s totally unfair to have a lottery system and that maybe it should be based on merit. So that’s his suggestion. I don’t necessary agree because there’s not a whole lot you can do to judge the merits of each individual person, especially because visas are given to the employer who submits an application with sparse information. Even if there were tons of details, what would you do to say that the 352nd applicant’s merits are higher than the 353rd?
Doubling the Minimum Salary
This might be okay in some ways. Pragmatically, it works for now because American companies operated in America pay a higher salary than foreign companies in America, preventing those foreign companies from offering jobs that qualify. That wouldn’t fit the business model of hiring way under the average salary and then sending those employees back to India, where many of them come from, including at Tata, Cognizant, and Infosys. This may also prevent American companies from paying H1B visa holders much less than American employees, leads to a discriminatory pay gap that is wholly intolerable, if you ask me. So this could be a decent one. The problem comes when there’s a braindrain, but I honestly think, if we’re given the opportunity, American wants to work. I don’t believe the idea spread by foreigners and many in America that Americans are lazy and stupid and don’t want to lift a finger.
Allocating 20% of Visas to Small Companies and Startups
This seems to be one that isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive from the others. Also, I think it could be worth it. This may solve part of the braindrain problem if done in concert with doubling the minimum salary. Since it would be helping startups, it would encourage incubators. Since it would be helping small companies, however, it could be allowing foreign companies with less than 50 people to have more than 50% of their employees be H1B visa holders. Only companies over 50 must stay under 50%. Ultimately, small-business is defined by number of employees and not number of assets, which means there’s a strong possibility of firms having more than 50% H1B visa holders for companies that control a very large portion of their industry. This could occur in financial services, especially, or the field of FinTech, which is becoming quite popular. App developers could also be quite small but earn tons of money. Therefore, I’m not sure this is the best, but it’s only 20% and in conjunction with another change, it would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Removing Per-Country Caps
This seems like an asinine idea, which of course means Trump is going to do it. He’s an idiot. Let’s be clear about that. Large countries are already dominating the visa program, including India, China, and others. Removing the caps will only make it worse. This will only allow these countries to have an even higher percentage of the total visas. Furthermore, removing per-country caps will reduce the number of industries that utilize the program, reducing growth in these industries, because certain countries focus mostly one or a couple industries, mainly IT. Furthermore, I don’t see how this would help the outsourcing problem. Overall, I’d rate this idea either an F if I’m sure I know what I’m talking about or at most a C if I’ve literally never studied anything about anything. It solves nothing.