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Member Profile: shyamgs (14 posts)

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Hello, I'm shyamgs (report this user)
I am from India
I last logged in on 13 Feb 2015
I have been a member since 17 Mar 2013
I have added 14 posts in trackitt forums
I added my last post on 13 Feb 2015
shyamgs's Posts
Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 13 Feb 2015
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I would like to those thanking Anirban and the others who will meet the OMB.

I am an economist and one of my areas of research is migration. I had prepared and submitted a document for the previous meeting with USCIS and I am happy to provide a slightly updated version to you again if you think it would be helpful.

The following is the content of the document I wrote-up last year:

My Arguments to Support Rule RIN: 1615-AB92

1. My first argument in favor of this legislation relates to the happiness of individual families. Unemployed H4 spouses lack a sense empowerment and feel that the current immigration system extracts too high a price from high skilled immigrant families that desire to live together as a family. At the same time, H1-B visa holders who like their jobs feel terrible about demanding a tremendous sacrifice (prolonged legally imposed joblessness) from their spouses by merely desiring their companionship in the United States.

2. My second argument relates to fairness across visa categories. Spouses of workers in many other visa categories such as L1 are allowed to work in the US.

3. My third and most important argument relates to the economics of the issue. There is near unanimous agreement among leading economists that incentivizing high skilled immigrants to work in the United States benefits the economy a great deal. For a quick glance at the views of prominent economists from diverse ideological and political backgrounds, please refer to a survey conducted by the Booth School at the University of Chicago:

http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-...

On many other issues the above panel disagrees very sharply (I encourage you to browse the panel's responses on other issues such as Minimum Wage, Quantitative Easing, etc.), but on this issue, not a single economist surveyed disagreed with the statement: "The average US citizen would be better off if a larger number of highly educated foreign workers were legally allowed to immigrate to the US each year."

Allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work would be an efficient way to incentivize highly educated foreign workers. On a more specific note directly related to the spouses of H1-B workers, here's a quote from an economist at Yale, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, in The New York Times : "Talented people often meet and marry other educated, talented people, and having those productive spouses sit at home is a dead-weight loss to the United States economy."
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/im...

4. My fourth argument is actually a counterargument to the primary claim made by the opponents of this rule. The primary claim of those opposing this rule is a version of the 'lump of labor' fallacy. When they argue that work authorization for H4 workers will ‘take away’ jobs from Americans, they are implicitly assuming that there is a ‘fixed’ number (or lump) of jobs that different groups then split among themselves. However, when an H4 worker accepts a job, it is by no means an economic necessity that a corresponding job is lost by a citizen - that is fallacious partial equilibrium thinking. When more people join the workforce, more jobs are created although the details could vary depending on the specifics of the model. The total number of jobs is not set in stone - if that were the case then the total number of jobs in the US today would equal the total number of jobs in the US in 1800 even though US population has gone up from about 5 million to about 300 million. That said, it could be argued that comparisons with a 200-year long-run economic outcome are inapplicable to an economy currently in a recession (at least as far as employment is concerned) but even in short-run demand-driven models, work authorization for H4 visa holders could lead to greater output and employment through the increased spending of immigrant families (admittedly, the details are murkier here).

5. My fifth argument is also a counterargument to another claim made by opponents of this rule. People opposing this rule often bring up the pecuniary externalities introduced by allowing H4 visa holders to work. There are indeed a number of pecuniary externalities created by each and every transaction that immigrants (or others) engage in. Under standard models, when I or anyone else (regardless of nationality or visa status) decides to become an academic, the overall wages of academics goes down (infinitesimally so, due to any one individual’s decision) and this is a negative externality for other academics. However, the cost of education goes down as well (again, infinitesimally so, due to any one individual’s decision) and this is a positive externality for students. When I or anyone else (regardless of nationality) decides to buy a loaf of bread, the price of bread goes up (infinitesimally so) and this is a negative externality for other buyers of bread. However, the income for those involved in making bread (wheat farmers, bakers, grocers, transporters, etc.) goes up as well (again, infinitesimally so) and this is a positive externality for those who make bread. Due to these externalities, when H4 workers get the authorization to work, it will lead to lower wages for others engaged in the same line of work as well as lower costs for those buying the output made by these workers. Similarly, when H4 workers start to spend their new income, it will increase the prices of the goods they buy and increase the incomes of those engaged in producing these goods. Such externalities are called ‘pecuniary’ externalities and every transaction results in such externalities. Notice that these externalities are both positive and negative. Opponents of the rule focus solely on the negative externalities while ignoring the positive externalities. Also, notice that these externalities are generated by everyone employed in any line of work and buying any set of goods and services (i.e. H4 workers do not uniquely contribute to such externalities). Each and every one of us is creating these pecuniary externalities every time we engage in any transaction. Finally, notice that the estimate for the number of new H4 workers is about 100,000 people in the first year and 35,000 people each year thereafter. These numbers pale in comparison to US labor force which is about 155 million. The number of new H4 workers is about 0.06% this year and 0.02% per year after that. Some have argued that these estimates are off just like other government estimates, but I believe this number should be a fairly accurate estimate because the number of H4 workers is contingent on the number of H1-B workers and the government keeps a tight control on those numbers through a lottery process that allots a fixed number of H1-B visas each year. Since the number of new workers created is such a small fraction of the current labor force, the impact of these pecuniary externalities (positive and negative) will be negligible; however supporting this rule would significantly improve the lives of the families involved.

6. My sixth argument relates to the fiscal consequences of implementing this rule. H1-B workers whose employers have applied for their Green Cards tend to be high skilled and in general, their spouses tend to be high skilled as well. In almost every circumstance, each spouse will pay more in taxes than withdraw as benefits. Therefore, when considered as a group, H4 workers contributions to taxes will overwhelmingly exceed their withdrawals of benefits.

7. My seventh and last argument relates to inequality. Again, H1-B workers whose employers have applied for their Green Cards tend to be high skilled and in general, their spouses tend to be high skilled as well. The pecuniary externalities they create (even though negligible in terms of magnitude) will decrease real incomes of high-wage individuals and increase real incomes for everyone else. This will be a move in the direction of less inequality.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Okay - this is my last post for tonight and perhaps for a long time to come.

US Population in 1800 was about 5 million.
US Population in 1900 was about 75 million.
US Population in 2000 was about 300 million.

US GDP per capita in 1800 was about $1000 (using inflation adjusted values with base year 2004).
US GDP per capita in 1900 was about $5000 (again, using inflation adjusted values with base year 2004).
US GDP per capita in 2000 was about $35,000 (again, using inflation adjusted values with base year 2004).

US unemployment rate in 1800 was about 5%
US unemployment rate in 1900 was about 5%
US unemployment rate in 2000 was about 5%

Even though the population increased by a factor of 60 (and migration played a big role in this rapid increase), per person income in the US increased by a factor of 35, and unemployment remained about the same. Based on this rather simple analysis, one can argue very effectively against the Lump of Labor fallacy and Malthusian fears. There is no fixed number of jobs that are then split across all inhabitants. If that were the case, the number of jobs in 1800 would equal the number of jobs in 2000.

Paranoia about immigrants stealing your grandchildren's jobs and impoverishing future generation of US citizens are therefore overblown, especially if we look at the historical record of the US itself!

While there are distributional concerns over the short run (and these should be mitigated through tax and transfer policies and high skilled migration actually helps alleviate these concerns), zilam98, you need not worry about the kind of america you want to bequeath to your grand children. I would argue that you need to be more worried about global warming than about immigration if you have long run concerns.

Some argue that the US will reach some kind of a 'holding capacity' because of the increase in the density of population. This fear is also largely unfounded. The Netherlands, UK, and Germany all have population densities of over 600 people per square mile whereas in the US, the population density is less than 100 people per square mile. Moreover, as urban planners will tell you, the US would be better off with more urban density and less sprawl.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Just a quick note, Dean Baker was indeed a senior economist at EPI (the think tank that Daniel Kuehn and Ron Hira are affiliated with) but now while still listed as a research associate at EPI, Dean Baker is principally the Co-Director of Center for Economic Policy and Research.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I am sorry if you thought I was name-calling, vkz8981.

I am well aware of the work by Salzman, Lowell, and especially Daniel Kuehn and other economists at the Economic Policy Institute (including Ron Hira). Their primary concern is distributional effects and in my original post to you, I SPECIFICALLY mentioned Dean Baker (a senior colleague of Ron Hira and Daniel Kuehn at the Economic Policy Institute) as someone who opposes more low skilled migration on distributional grounds.

Studying the economics and philosophy of immigration is a personal research interest and an integral part of my job and hence I try to keep up with the literature and pay particular attention to the handful of economists who oppose more migration.

I completely respect the distributional concerns of all these economists and I agree completely with Dean Baker when he argues that we need more doctors and top level managers to migrate to the United States. Dean Baker also argues that low skilled migration has hurt unskilled US workers and I am inclined to agree with his empirical assessment even though I disagree with his policy recommendations.

As an academic, I disagree with these handful of economists who oppose migration on one really important point: These economists wish to use immigration law as a means to achieve end goals related to income and wealth distributions. I think immigration and trade laws should be based on maximizing the size of the overall economic pie while tax, transfer, and public goods policies should be used to achieve end goals related to income and wealth distributions.

Fortunately for me (both professionally and personally), most economists are on my side of this debate even though, unfortunately for me, the general public and most politicians are on the other side.

P.S. Once again, I may have been arguing too much from authority and I may have come across as rude - I am sorry. Also, perhaps you felt insulted by my references to the "Lump of Labor Fallacy." This is however indeed a fallacy, especially over the long run - a point with which I am certain Ron Hira, Daniel Kuehn, and Dean Baker would agree. In the intermediate term, there are distributional consequences with more migration (something I SPECIFICALLY acknowledged in my original post to you), but I would argue that we need a better tax and transfer system along with other political and economic reforms to fix those issues. Using immigration policy to achieve distributional ends is inappropriate. More importantly, restrictive immigration laws leads to much greater worldwide economic inefficiency. I became even more convinced of this after reading "The End of Loser Loser Liberalism : Making Markets Progressive" a free ebook I recommend highly written by Dean Baker (read pages 101 to 117) - who as I pointed out earlier shares most professional economic opinions with Daniel Kuehn and Ron Hira and is in fact their senior colleague at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I am sorry it was such a struggle for you, zilam98. However, your personal struggles in the past should have almost no bearing on what kind of immigration policy is appropriate. In fact, my hope is that your personal struggles will motivate you to read and understand the extensive academic literature on immigration.

I listed some excellent relevant journal articles in my last post - I am happy to send you more links. Also, if you want to take a look at the preponderance of expert economic opinion in favor of high skilled immigration, please see the following:
http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-...

The Economic Experts Panel on that website is widely respected and includes economists from a variety of political and economic modeling backgrounds:
http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-...

If you're an economist, you will right away spot some of the top names of the field, including numerous John Bates Clark Award winners (this award is often considered a precursor to the Nobel Prize).

Also, if you're interested in philosophical discussions rather than technical economic articles, please visit openborders.info for a better understanding of the issues involved. Some of the academic contributors at that website include Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Fabio Rojas, Professor of Economics at Indiana University, and Michael Huemer, Professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado Boulder.

Another excellent book to read is "The Ethics of Immigration" (Oxford University Press - this book is making waves in academic circles these days) by Joseph Carens at the University of Toronto.

OK - I understand this site is for H4 EAD related material only and so I will conclude by saying that I am in favor of more open immigration overall and, in particular, I think EADs for H4s makes complete economic and ethical sense.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I am afraid you don't understand what I mean. Sigh.

We should NOT look at the characteristics of the people behind causes in order to judge the cause itself.

Let me give you another example. Suppose a rightly convicted self-confessed ax murderer on death row, a wrongly convicted impoverished single mother, and the Pope, all oppose the death penalty. We should NOT judge the rightness or wrongness of the death penalty based on who is supporting it and who is opposing it. We should judge the rightness or wrongness of the death penalty based on ethical and economic principles related to the the death penalty's expected costs and benefits to society. And if capital punishment laws are tweaked, the tweaks should be related to the people on whom the laws are applicable. The tweaks should not be connected in any way to the characteristics of the supporters and opponents of reform.

In other words, criticizing people behind the cause of H4 EADs is a red herring - it is a distraction that is irrelevant to whether a policy allowing EADs for H4s is sensible or not.

I guess what you mean is we should look at the characteristics of potential recipients of H4 EADs rather than the characteristics of those who are behind the cause of H4 EADs (because those two groups are distinct!) before we can decide whether a law allowing these EADs is appropriate. And yes, I agree that the characteristics of potential recipients of H4 EADs does matter, and in my view, economic research suggests that allowing EADs for H4s would be a net positive to the economy. Period.

You may believe otherwise and so you should feel free to oppose EADs for H4s, but it doesn't make sense to base your criticism on the characteristics of the supporters of this cause because that is irrelevant.

P.S. I am generally in favor of more relaxed overall migration laws. To get a glimpse into my reasoning, see Klein and Ventura (Productivity Differences and Dynamic Effects of Labor Movements, Journal of Monetary Economics, 2009), Michael Clemens (Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2011), J Kennan (Open Borders, Review of Economic Dynamics, 2013), etc. If you don't have the technical background to read and understand these articles from top ranked field journals, please just read the abstracts (you should be able to find these online through scholar.google.com, even if you don't have institutional access to academic literature). You could also run a Google search of the phrase, "Alan Krueger Immigration Memo" to see a memo written for lay people by an economist who typically leans to the left. Similarly, you could do a Google search of the phrase, "John Cochrane Optimal Number of Immigrants" to see a blog post also written for lay people by an economist who typically leans to the right. John Cochrane is an economist at University of Chicago while Alan Krueger is an economist at Princeton.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Zilam98, undocumented immigrants can and should appeal for changes in the law if they feel that the current law is unfair and unwise. Whether a cause is fair or not does not depend on the characteristics of the people supporting it. The fact that some undocumented immigrants would like a path to citizenship does not by itself make the cause fair or unfair, wise or unwise.

I don't know about others on this board, but I can speak for myself: I would never support EADs for H4s if I did not fully believe in the fairness and wisdom of such a policy. Based on my understanding of macroeconomics, I think EADs for H4s would help the world economy, immigrants, and American citizens. My view is by no means a minority view - almost all economists agree with me. I can point you to numerous articles in top journals by top economists at top institutions, as well as surveys of economic experts if you'd like to see some evidence. EADs are NOT a threat to job stability (you may be falling prey to the Lump of Labor fallacy).

My decision to support any given policy is NOT based on whether it would be good for me personally. Let me give you an example: I am in favor of eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction, because, as an economist, I believe that is a bad policy. If the government were to take away this deduction in the future, it would hurt me personally, but I would still advocate strongly against mortgage interest deduction. Likewise, I am in favor of rules allowing gay marriage even though that issue doesn't affect me personally.

To summarize, if you think EADs for H4s is a good policy (and I would argue based on economics research and ethical considerations that it is indeed a good policy), support it. If you think that EADs for H4s is a bad policy, oppose it. Please don't malign people with H4 visas pointlessly and please don't attack their cause baselessly by claiming that since they knew what they signed up for, they have no right to appeal for change. The First Amendment guarantees them the right to appeal for change, just as it guarantees you the right to oppose that change, should you wish to do so.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 25 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Zilam98, people petition to change the law because they think it is unjust or unwise. Period.

I know a few gay people in North Carolina who are fighting for the right for gays to marry in this state, after having moved here from New York. Their fighting for gay rights is completely legitimate and I support them in their endeavor.

I suppose you would argue that they should not fight for gay rights since they knew before they moved to North Carolina that gay people cannot marry here.

In jurisdictions ruled by various forms of representative (or even autocratic) governments, people can and should work towards changing the legal systems to be fairer and wiser regardless of whether they moved to that jurisdiction with or without awareness of its laws.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 21 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Deporting undocumented immigrants is a mistake.

All immigrants contribute to the economy through the demand side - they require food, housing, education, entertainment, etc. and thus create jobs for those who can provide them with these goods and services.

Most immigrants contribute to the economy through the supply side as well - by offering their services and labor, their increase overall GDP and improve the standard of living for everyone else.

There may be distributional consequences, but that needs to be addressed separately.

Looking solely at the fiscal impact (i.e. on tax collection) is a mistake, because that narrow approach overlooks the much larger positive impact of migrants (and natives) on the economy as a whole.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 21 Oct 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I am an economist and one of my principal areas of research is immigration.

Economists, for the most part, argue that more immigration is good (legal or illegal, skilled or unskilled) just like more trade is good for economies on the whole. There are some distributional concerns, but those need to be addressed directly rather than through artificial frictions imposed through immigration policy.

Unfortunately, not many people understand this and almost everyone I have met who is not an economist suffers from the 'Lump of Labor' fallacy. It bothers me immensely when people on this website who really should understand the economic impact of immigration better make all sorts of fallacious arguments that hurt their own case and display a startling ignorance of the economics of the subject.

There is plenty of theoretical and empirical evidence to support more immigration. For a good survey of the literature, please read Michael Clemen's "Trillion Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk" research article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Krueger's immigration memo (just google it) is also a quick good read for lay people as is the entire open borders website.

Prominent economists who support more immigration include Alan Krueger (chair of CEA under Obama), Gregory Mankiw (chair of CEA under Bush), Joseph Stiglitz (chair of CEA under Clinton), etc.

If you are conservative, read immigration related posts on John Cochrane's blog. If you are libertarian, read immigration related posts on Bryan Caplan's blog. If you are liberal, read immigration related posts on Noah Smith's blog.

Yes, you can find a few articles by economists like George Borjas or Dean Baker that can be reframed in a way so as to make it appear that they oppose immigration but even in those papers, they acknowledge the net gains from immigration and worry primarily about distributional issues that need to be addressed separately. In fact, Baker and Borjas argue that more skilled immigration will help even the distributional issue.

So before any of you go down the path of stating blatantly incorrect statements on how too many EADs or illegal immigrants or any other migrant group hurts the economy, please spend a few weeks to carefully read the relevant economic literature, work through the mathematical models, and study the empirical evidence.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 23 Apr 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Thank you all so much for doing this and good luck!

I'm sure this doesn't need to be told, but I think it would help to be respectful, cordial, and sincere when you interact rather than emotional or aggressive.

Also, if they wonder why the participants are all (mostly?) Indian, it might help to point out how this rule disproportionately affects Indians more with the long waiting times for EB2 and EB3 due to non-population weighted country quotas.

Thanks again for your outstanding effort!
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 21 Apr 2014
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

I will not be able to go to the presentation as I do not live in D.C. I am an economist and one of my research areas is migration. The following are my comments on allowing H4 visa holders the opportunity to work:

1. My first argument in favor of this legislation relates to the happiness of individual families. Unemployed spouses lack a sense empowerment and feel that the current immigration system extracts too high a price from high skilled immigrant families that desire togetherness and respect family values. At the same time, employed spouses on H1-B visas feel they are shortchanging their spouses by merely asking for their companionship in the United States.

2. My second argument relates to fairness across visa categories. Spouses of workers in certain other visa categories such as L1 are allowed to work in the US.

3. My third and most important argument relates to the economics of the issue. There is near unanimous agreement among leading economists that incentivizing high skilled immigrants to work in the United States benefits the economy a great deal. For a detailed survey of very prominent economists from diverse idealogical and political backgrounds, please refer to a survey conducted by the Booth School at the University of Chicago:

http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-...

(Presenters - please link this poll - it is very compelling evidence).

On many other issues the above panel disagrees very sharply (I encourage you to browse the panel's responses on other issues as well), but on this issue, not a single economist surveyed disagreed with the statement: "The average US citizen would be better off if a larger number of highly educated foreign workers were legally allowed to immigrate to the US each year."

Allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work would be an efficient way to incentivize highly educated foreign workers. On a more specific note directly related to the spouses of H1-B workers, here's a quote from Yale economist, Dr. Mobarak, in The New York Times : "Talented people often meet and marry other educated, talented people, and having those productive spouses sit at home is a dead-weight loss to the United States economy."

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/im...

(Presenters, please cite the exact New York Times quote by the economist, Dr. Mobarak, from Yale.)

Shyam Gouri Suresh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Davidson College

As an aside, too many people believe in the 'lump of labor' fallacy - this is evident not just in the general discourse among laypeople but also in numerous comments on this message board! There is no 'fixed' number (or lump) of jobs that different groups then split among themselves! When an H4 accepts a job, there is no corresponding job lost by a citizen - that is fallacious partial equilibrium thinking. The total number of jobs is not set in stone - if that were the case then the total number of jobs in the US today would equal the total number of jobs in the US in 1800 even though US population has gone up from about 5 million to 300 million. When more people join the workforce, typically more jobs are created - the formal models are complicated and depend on various assumptions, but this statement is generally true in good times and during demand-driven recessions (since H4 workers will add to the total spending in the economy).

The views mentioned here are my own (unless I am specifically citing other sources) and do not necessarily reflect the views of my institution.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 17 Mar 2013
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Actually, geewhiz, I shouldn't have singled you out.

Many posters on this thread (even some of those in favor of H4 EAD) are opposed to more immigrants from other categories. They too are making a basic economics error.

As a professional economist whose doctoral dissertation and current research interests focus on the economics of immigration, I get particularly annoyed when people believe reasonable-sounding but outright fallacious arguments peddled by opportunistic politicians as well as paid and inadvertent lobbyists for special-interest groups who whip up xenophobia in self-serving ways that are ultimately to the detriment of the US and global economy.
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Posted in I-765 (EAD) Forum on 17 Mar 2013
Topic: EAD for H4 Visa Holders

Geewhiz,

Before pronouncing your judgment on the labor market impact of H4 EADs, I suggest that you read about the economics first. You may wish to start with Clemens, Michael A. 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?." Journal of Economic Perspectives. You may wish to read something more technical, such as Card, David, 2005. "Is the new immigration really so bad?" The Economic Journal.

If you would prefer something non-technical, I could point you towards famous Harvard economist, Greg Mankiw, writing at the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/business/how-...

If you want an article for laypersons that refers specifically to the spouses of H1-B workers, you could read Yale economist Mobarak's piece in the New York Times, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/im....

Let me quote from Mobarak's article: "The blueprint offered by Senator Hatch and colleagues is full of sensible provisions, including work permits for spouses of H-1B workers. Talented people often meet and marry other educated, talented people, and having those productive spouses sit at home is a dead-weight loss to the United States economy. "

Geewhiz, you sound like an intelligent guy. Read the Clemens piece first - the number of jobs in a country is not set in stone and immigrants are not "taking away jobs" despite the xenophobic political rhetoric. Just as there is wide agreement among economists that free trade is beneficial to economies, free migration too is beneficial. In fact, most serious quantitative estimates (for instance by Klein and Ventura) suggest that gains from freer migration far outweigh gains from free trade.

Labor market certification is a joke as anyone with even the crudest sense of the fallacy of composition can attest. Just because one individual H1-B applicant can prove that she gets paid at or above the prevailing wage does not mean that all H1-B workers together have no effect on wage. The labor market certification is eye-wash to fool gullible people with an instinctive rather than substantive understanding of economics. Distinguishing between H1B workers who are deemed necessary while H4 workers are not on the basis of individual-based labor market tests is simply ridiculous. So how do we analyze the impact of immigration? We need empirical studies, preferably general equilibrium studies. And all such studies demonstrate incontrovertibly that more immigration would help the world (and the United States).

I am not just making a case for H4 EADs (although those offer some extra benefits for the US which I could expound about, if you so desire) but for more immigration in general. Your fears about the stability of labor markets etc. are not founded on sound economics and is reminiscent of Luddites and mercantilists with their selfish, ill-informed, and knee-jerk aversion to technology and trade respectively.
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