The CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark, has said more immigration to the US is needed to ease inflation and tackle America’s labor shortages. Ms Clark has urged the Biden administration to ease US immigration policies in order to double the number of legal immigrants.
During a recent press conference, Ms Clark said: “We need more workers. We should welcome people who want to come here, go to school and stay. That is a place the government could be particularly helpful and we do believe it would be anti-inflationary.”
Clark claims that ramping up immigration to the US would help to combat supply chain disruptions, which she said are ‘at the heart’ of an inflation spike in the US. In particular, Ms Clark feels that increased immigration would help tackle an increasing shortage of truck drivers.
The Chamber of Commerce CEO said: “If we can alleviate the worker shortage, it might be the fastest thing to do to impact inflation.”
Meanwhile, Clark has also called for a permanent US immigration solution for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
She said: “We must create a permanent solution for the ‘dreamers’ - those young men and women who know no other home and who contribute to their communities, but whose legal immigration status is in limbo.”
There have already been a number of pushes in Congress to provide a more permanent legal status for those in the US and currently protected from deportation.
Significant US immigration measures
During the Biden administration a number of corporations, Democrats and immigrant activists have proposed significant US immigration measures, plus a series of amnesty proposals for illegal immigrants.
However, many of the proposals have been rebuffed in the Senate after failing to secure any Republican support. Meanwhile, a recent budget reconciliation bill, which includes a series of US immigration provisions, was rejected.
The various proposals in recent legislative efforts included pathways to US citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants – including DACA recipients – plus essential workers and others.
Under the budget reconciliation bill, there was a measure included that would have allowed for unused US employment-based visas – otherwise known as green cards – to be ‘recaptured’ and reissued in order to reduce major backlogs.
This proposal received heavy backing from big tech companies who lobbied for green card capture to be included given how it would benefit tech workers on US H1B visas.
During her recent ‘State of American Business’ address, Clark insisted that more immigration is the answer to rising inflation and labor shortages.
She said: “The workforce shortage is a crisis. We have to grow our workforce if we want to grow our economy and stay competitive. So, who wants to put their talent to work and pursue their dreams in a dynamic economy flush with opportunity? Immigrants of every skill level.”
Census Bureau estimates
US immigration estimates issued by the Census Bureau recently put net immigration to the US at 1.07 million in 2016. However, it’s fallen every year since then, plummeting to 477,000 in 2020.
According to a report published by Business Insider, America would have an estimated two million more workers now if not for highly restrictive US immigration policies implemented by former US President, Donald Trump.
Many of America’s most affected industries as a result of the current labor shortages, such as agriculture, food processing and hospitality, have historically relied on immigrant labor.
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