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UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

Employers are offshoring jobs to get around US visa restrictions

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
Employers are relocating jobs to Canada.
  • Karen Ho
By Karen Ho

Global finance and economics reporter

Published

President Donald Trump has been trying to encourage firms to hire more American workers by increasing restrictions on visas for skilled foreign workers, including by suspending the H-1B visa program in June.

But a new study found that blocking out skilled labor actually encourages companies to move jobs abroad, where they can hire locally or more easily obtain a visa. That means more new jobs in countries like Canada, India, and China, not in the US, as president Donald Trump has claimed.

“It’s not that a company really only has two options, which is either hire an immigrant in the US or hire an American in the US,” said Britta Glennon, the National Bureau of Economic Research economist who wrote the study. “They actually have more options than that. If you’re going to have this discussion, it needs to acknowledge that.”

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