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Varying opinions on employment, immigration shape national debate

When a non-American wants to work in the United States, his or her employer must sponsor him or her. What this usually means is that the employee has a set of highly specialized skills that the employer needs, and that the employer has been unable to find an American with the same skills. Although this seems fair to many people, there are some who question whether employers are actually looking for Americans or if they are merely giving immigrants the upper hand when it comes to jobs. This is just one of the many facets of the employment-based immigration debate that is raging in Congress.

And the outcome of this debate could have serious rammifications on those workers needing employment visas in Lancaster County. As Congress debates the positives and negatives of immigration and employment-based immigration specifically, there are questions about how this will affect immigration in the future.

One immigration policy analyst has said that immigration is actually not interfering with American workers ability to find work. Even in many of the low-skilled positions, such as restaurant work, Americans and immigrants are rarrely competiting for positions. His example is that of an immigrant worker with limited English skills. He or she would not be serving food or in the front of the house because his or her English skills would prevent communication. Instead, he or she would be behind the scenes, washing dishes or cleaning.

There are others, of course, who believe that immigration is a drain on resrouces for native-born Americans, but analysts with the Congressional Budget Office believe that immigration will only be a benefit to our economy.

Source: The Washington Times, "Immigrants account for all job gains since 2000: native-born workers' employment has fallen," Stephen Dinan, July 3, 2013

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