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In order to fight coronavirus, we have to protect immigration

President Trump initially kept reasonable travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but with the virus spreading inside the United States, he is already shifting from minimizing its threat — his first instinct — to use it to justify restrictive immigration policies that he wanted anyway. A broader move to general nativism at this time would be disastrous, as so many immigrants are leading the U.S. response to the virus.

new analysis of government data from the Cato Institute shows that eight of the major companies developing treatments and vaccines for the virus are heavily reliant on foreign workers. From 2010 to 2019, we found that the Department of Labor approved the companies developing treatments or vaccines for coronavirus to hire more than 11,000 immigrants and H-1B high skilled foreign workers.

Among these hires were 3,310 foreign biochemists, biophysicists, chemists, and other scientists on H-1B visas. They had brought in thousands of statisticians to analyze data and software, database, and computer engineers to support them. Without these workers, America’s hope of treating and saving thousands of lives at risk from the coronavirus would greatly diminish.

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