opinion | America needs more workers and an improvement in the disastrous legal immigration system

There could also be a giant banner that says “Help Wanted!”. about the United States. The economy has recovered quickly from the pandemic downturn — aided by more than $5 trillion in government aid — and companies are desperately trying to hire enough workers to keep up with the rise in demand for everything from waffle irons to cars. The nation has more than 11 million job offers s 6 million of the unemployed.

This imbalance gives workers and job seekers great power. Wages are rising at the fastest rate in yearsWorkers quit and find new jobs at record levelsHourly employees at companies like Starbucks and Amazon are forming consortia and companies offering offers Flexibility And benefits that were unimaginable before the outbreak of the epidemic. These directions are welcome.

But it also happens that the US economy continues to operate with far fewer workers than it did before the pandemic. Labor force participation rate, which measures the number of civilians aged 16 or over working or looking for work 62.4%, which is a full percentage point lower compared to the previous epidemic figure. Much of this decline can be explained by two factors: an increase in the number of Americans retired and a sharp decline in legal immigration under President Donald Trump’s administration, which has not yet recovered.

Read in Spanish: The United States needs more workers. Unfortunately, our legal immigration is a mess.

President Biden insists he is doing everything he can to reduce inflation and keep the economy strong. But he has not yet taken the clear and needed step to reform the legal immigration system.

There is 9.5 million people Waiting for the US government to process your legal immigration documents. This includes people seeking work permits, sanatoriums, permanent residence, and citizenship. It is an unprecedented accumulation. Some people seeking to renew temporary work permits have been waiting for a long time Because they lose their right to work legally, which means that they lose their jobs and their income. In all, it represents people who are waiting for a work permit or reauthorization around 1.6 million from the backlog. They are ready and able to operate, but government bureaucracy stands in their way. This is a huge loss for the American economy.

It’s clear how to fix this. As Julia Gillat of the Migration Policy Institute says: “The obvious way to solve all this backlog is to get more money and staff.”

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US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – Part of the Department of Homeland Security – Finally ad Last week some measures to help deal with the backlog. These include allowing more immigrants Pay up to $2500 For faster operation, strive to limit the operation to Not more than six months. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also hinted at this will automatically extend Work permits from 180 days to a much longer period for applicants who have a work visa and are waiting for renewal. These additions are crucial.

Businesses desperately need people to work. Millions of legal immigrants want to work in the United States. This shouldn’t be difficult to fix.

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