The United States has a shortage of workers, not a shortage of citizens.

Oil workers in North Africa, English teachers in Japan, summer camp supervisors in Vermont and crew members aboard ships the world over are employed under contracts. It is employment with dignity, without citizenship.

What we see as an immigration problem in the United States is in fact a shortage of labor problem, and it is caused by our “free-market,” “supply and demand” business practices.

According to the thinking of American businesses, for them to be competitive on price when selling their services and products, they must fill their labor needs by paying wages that are unattractive to current United States citizens. Thus, they have created a demand for labor that has resulted in more than 11 million non-U.S. citizens risking arrest and deportation, and sometimes their lives, in order to supply their labor in the U.S.

Employment contracts require employers to provide regulated employment opportunities to qualified workers. Workers taking up these contracts are generally expected to return home for a minimum of two months each year, and remain law-abiding while in the host country.

Let us welcome those willing to come here to supply us with their labor.

Good business practices, not citizenship, is the answer to our current immigration problem.

John Foote