Every once in a long while, Joe Biden stumbles upon a sensible economic policy. The White House announced this week that it will increase visas for students and workers in the so-called STEM areas: science, technology, engineering and math. The policy is also designed to allow foreign students in these areas to gain visas when they graduate. It never made any sense to allow foreigners to attend America’s top universities and get highly-valuable skills that are in short supply in America – and then force them to go home.
These immigrants unquestionably add to the U.S. economy and the dominant position of American technology companies. They also have a high propensity to start businesses that employ U.S.-born workers. It’s a total economic win-win for America.
But as the chart below shows, the demand for these visas has severely outpaced the supply. The date at which the high-skilled visas are filled up each year keeps moving up. This year, the visas for talented immigrants will be snatched up by the end of March.
The Biden policy of emphasizing skills and talents of immigrants and putting those foreigners first in line is a page right out of the Trump immigration modernization plan. Alas, that went nowhere because Democrats didn’t want to hand Trump an immigration policy victory. Let’s hope we have finally found one smart policy that can command bipartisan support.