Americans support US visas for low-skilled legal immigrants

American Visa (XL)The great majority of Americans are aware of the need for low-skilled workers in the United States and support a US visa program for legal immigrants willing to perform physically demanding work; however, most are unaware that there is a short supply of such programs, according to a new poll from ImmigrationWorks USA.

78% of people responding to the survey are in favor of legal immigration, with almost 60% believing that the United States requires and benefits from legal immigrants to perform labor jobs that require little in the way of training. There are few US visas available under current immigration policies when it comes to low-skilled occupations, however, particularly for those in construction, hospitality and agriculture.

The only permanent visa that is available all year round for low-skilled workers is capped at an annual figure of 5,000 by the US government, the Migration Policy Institute says. The consequence of the cap is that many employers have hired large numbers of undocumented immigrants to perform work that requires a lot of physical labor. Around 8.4 million undocumented immigrants are employed in the United States, with several industries ‒ such as agriculture ‒ being almost completely reliant on them, The Hill claims.

86% of those polled by ImmigrationWorks USA believe that an important contribution is made to the US economy by legal immigrants, with the same number saying that more immigrants would be able to pay taxes if more work visas were issued for low-skilled jobs.