The Detrimental Effects of Closing America’s Borders

By Rishi Shah, Opinion Writer

The Trump administration is taking a strong stance on the influx of foreigners and it is clear that this ideology of creating a less diverse nation is sparking interest in a large sum of Americans. Of course, we do not see this high sense of approval in our highly diverse area in New Jersey, but the support of our POTUS’s plans are high and hidden throughout our nation. Putting our prior conceptions of this new administration aside, let’s talk business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 25 million Americans were born outside of the United States in 2012. That is a huge chunk of our labor force. The vast majority of our nation’s evolving technology industry is backed by these foreign workers and that trend seems to be growing yearly. If America simply cannot meet the demand of qualified labor, we must allow others to fill those roles. Major companies such as Google and Apple thrive because of educated and highly motivated workers from overseas. Major companies all over the United States felt the need to speak out on behalf of their employees filing an amicus brief. The New York Times states “The brief, which was signed by an unusually broad coalition of large and small tech companies that included Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Tesla, Uber and Intel, said Mr. Trump’s order “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution.”

When we close our borders and make America a closed country, we stagnate our growth as a world power. We rose in ranks due to immigrants growing our labor force which in turn boosted our overall growth. There is no need to stop this trend due to a fabricated fear created by Trump and his campaign messages.

In addition, to a stagnating work-force, there is a need for overseas goods and services. While Trump boasted about keeping companies in the US, and did so with Ford and multiple other companies, he missed an essential part of our economy: trade.  Trade is essential for our economic well-being.  That is why comparative advantage is better for all countries, rather than absolute advantage.  Famous economist and Nobel Prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman notes that to think of ourselves as being “taken advantage of” combined with Trump’s constant need to become “dominant” in trade is “foolish.”

Moving towards an isolationist country will certainly have a negative impact on America. For example, when Great Britain left the European Union, it shocked the world economy. The Schengen Agreement allowed for open borders among the EU and they prospered with obvious economic benefits, a high and diverse workforce, as well as systematic support systems aiding in anti-terrorism efforts and other national security issues.  Similarly, removing NAFTA and making American borders inaccessible to high foreign labor and trade will stagnate our growing workforce which foils Trump’s plans for GDP growth. Marketwatch wrote, “They’ve [the Trump administration] said the sustainable growth rate of the economy has been dampened by demographics, namely an aging population, and an absence of productivity.” In other words, the American economy needs a more open trade space and larger labor force to achieve his goals.

Of course, you can say that the American people can solely create these jobs and opportunities too but why stop the dream when we can all prosper? It is clear that the foundation of this country is set on allowing immigrants to seek a better life here. This new administration should not stop both America and immigrants from prospering due to fear and a lack of acceptance.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.

Contact Rishi at

rishi.shah@student.shu.edu

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