Global Ethics Corner: Immigrants and Jobs

Feb 27, 2009

A Colombian immigrant was recently denied her investor's visa, forcing her to shut down her U.S. company and fire her six employees. Does immigration help or hurt American workers?

Does immigration help or hurt American workers?

Gulden Coffee was a fair trade New Jersey coffee importer. One immigrant owner, Ana Maria Trejos-Gulden, wrote to us about her experience. Her email is paraphrased below:

"I returned to Colombia to renew my Investor visa. Unfortunately, I was told that I was not eligible. The main reason was the volume of my business was not big enough.

"Following instructions, I came back for the business visa. My main objective now was to find a manager for my business. Again, the consul denied my application because of my lack of employment in Colombia, but I have been in the U.S.A. since 2000, working hard, building my business, and obeying U.S. laws.

"So we decided to close our U.S. company, fire the six employees, and explain to my clients. I cannot believe this. We are trying to do business, pay taxes, and contribute to the American economy. I am in shock, but if the U.S.A. does not want us, I won't insist anymore."

This immigrant created U.S. jobs. In other cases, Americans were replaced by immigrants and lost their jobs.

What do you think?

Adapted from a blog posting by Devin Stewart on Fairer Globalization

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