U.S. regulators are focused on the short-term goal of increasing youth employment without looking at the long-term economic benefits of attracting visitors to spend summers in the U.S. Benefits include building a positive brand abroad, attracting peers of summer workers to visit, and encouraging future trips.
Landing a job at a summer camp or at an amusement park is a rite of passage for many young Americans. Those jobs also appeal to foreigners participating in a cultural exchange using J-1 visas. But with U.S. youth unemployment at 25 percent, Congress is now taking a close look at the J-1 visa exchange program.
…critics of the current immigration laws think the J-1 program is not well-regulated and can hurt U.S. job seekers. “If these students do not come into this country, this is the soft diplomacy that the U.S. really needs,”[Bill Gertz] says.
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