Americans support low-skilled immigration reform

A new poll has revealed that a majority of Americans would like to see reforms made to the county’s immigration system that would enable businesses easier access to low-skilled workers from abroad.

According to an online poll published earlier this week, some 78 per cent of Americans hold a favourable view of legal immigration and 60 per cent believe that the country benefits from welcoming overseas nationals.

The poll, carried out by Immigration Works USA, said that they supported a visa programme for “physically demanding work” for legal immigrants, even though most people did not know that such work visas are in short supply.

Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) caps the only permanent, year-round visa for low-skilled workers at 5,000 annually.

This means that many employers are forced to turn to unauthorised workers in large numbers to carry out manual labour jobs that Americans don’t want to do. There are an estimated 8.4 million illegal immigrants currently in employment in the United States.

Some 86 per cent of the Immigration Works survey’s respondents said that issuing more work visas for low-skilled jobs would be a good thing as it would allow more immigrants to pay taxes. Respondents were also twice as likely to understand that the jobs immigrants were taking were not jobs Americans wanted, as opposed to taking jobs away from American workers.