Legal and Illegal Immigration: Understanding U.S. High-Skilled Immigration

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 125

By Mark Krikorian and Helen Andrews on October 5, 2023

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In this week’s episode of the Center for Immigration Studies’ Parsing Immigration Policy podcast, the senior editor at The American Conservative, Helen Andrews, delves into the topic of high-skilled immigration and its political, economic, and cultural implications. Andrews, alongside podcast host and the Center’s executive director Mark Krikorian, describes how the H-1B foreign worker program, originally designed to attract highly-skilled workers, has been transformed into a means for outsourcing American jobs and undercutting the wages of American workers.

The H-1B visa program is a temporary, non-immigrant program for people in “specialty occupations” tied to a specific employer. Annually, 85,000 new H-1B visa holders enter the U.S., with an estimated 500,000 residing in the country at any given time.

In her recent article, Farewell, H-1Bs, Andrews responds to the tech lobbyists’ argument that H-1B workers are leaving for Canada due to long green card waiting times in the US. Even without job offers, Canada is offering permanent residency. Andrews writes “H-1B visa holders are not the world’s best and brightest, so Canada is welcome to them.”

Andrews also sheds light on Australia’s successful approach to tackling illegal immigration. Drawing from her decade-long experience living in Australia, she recounts how the country effectively curbed illegal immigration through stringent policies. Under the leadership of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the country demonstrated that political will and strict enforcement can secure borders.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Helen Andrews is the Senior Editor at The American Conservative.


Farewell, H-1Bs - The American Conservative

Canada Offers Easy Entry to 10,000 H-1B Visa Holders

H-1B Visa Program: Myths and Needed Reforms


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".