Crab-Pickers, Landscapers, and Bad Policy

5/8/2018 - Professor of Economics Giovanni Peri in the Baltimore Sun.

Maryland’s “crab crisis,” the lack of seasonal workers for about half of the Eastern Shore crab houses — a dilemma caused by a statutory limit on the number of visas the federal government issues and a change by the Trump administration in the way those visas are distributed — comes from a stubborn mindset: Without strict limits, American workers will be harmed by an influx of foreigners.

There was never much evidence to support that position. In fact, some important research shows just the opposite: Immigrants and seasonal workers are good for business; they don't steal jobs from Americans, and they actually contribute to better incomes for workers already here.

About eight years ago, I came across the work of Giovanni Peri, an economist at the University of California-Davis and, at the time, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Read the full story in the Baltimore Sun.