GR US

The Ban on Immigrants Ιs a Big Mistake

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2019 file photo, immigrants seeking asylum hold hands as they leave a cafeteria at the ICE South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Many Americans now believe that the allure of America's ‘uniqueness’, the sense of American superiority, the mentality that in America anything is possible, has been hit hard in recent months.

It is unheard of, it is un-American for our country to fall behind other countries – in any field. I believe that generations of Americans have grown up with this image – as have generations of foreigners.

However, the way the Coronavirus has been handled no longer justifies the reputation of American Exceptionalism.

America is falling behind other countries such as Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Greece.

Several factors contributed to the failure to successfully deal with the Coronavirus.

One of the most important is the undervaluation of science in the service of political goals.

This is a dangerous descent for the country.

The promotion of science and technology was central to the rise of America.

In this context, it is potentially disastrous that in order to serve short-term political goals, President Trump has temporarily banned work visas for hundreds of thousands of foreigners.

The temporary ban on H-1B visas, until the end of the year (at least), includes even computer experts and other specialized scientists, as well as seasonal workers.

Indicative of the danger is the statement of the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who said: “Putting up a ‘not welcome' sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won't help our country, it will hold us back.”

The anti-immigration climate he has been cultivating from the moment President Trump announced his candidacy is obviously serving him politically.

It "sells" the theory that he is helping Americans compete against foreigners. Trump says that instead of foreigners getting the jobs, those jobs will go to Americans - thanks to the measures he is taking.

And when you are unemployed, and find yourself in a difficult psychological and financial position, then this theory may trigger a response within you.

But the reality is different. Immigrants, especially those who come to the United States on an H-1B visa, largely fill job openings that have been open for a long time.

It's just that America doesn't produce as many scientists as its economy needs.

We know, for example, from the Coronavirus experience that many Greeks who are top scientists have been offering their services in the United States – doctors, researchers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, etc.

In general, I consider the anti-immigration climate that our President is cultivating to be particularly detrimental to the country. I'm not just saying this as an immigrant. I say this given the many studies that conclude that immigrants are one of the most important and dynamic elements of American society.

So instead of banning immigration, even temporarily, instead of creating an anti-immigrant climate, the exact opposite should be done in this country - legally of course.