San Diego International Law Journal


Jonathan Todres

Document Type



This Article examines this conflict between U.S. trade and immigration law and policy and asks whether the United States could apply some of the principles underlying its free trade policy to its immigration law in a way that benefits the U.S. economy and its workers. In Part II, this Article explores how U.S. immigration law protects U.S. labor. Specifically, Part II focuses on the controversy surrounding the H-1B visa program for non-immigrants and U.S. treatment of skilled workers from other countries, as the H1-B program is a good potential starting point for a new approach to immigration law. Part III of this Article reviews U.S. trade law and policies as well as approach is based on principles that can be effectively applied to the trade principles, including the benefits of increased competition and innovation. Part V of this Article details that skilled foreign workers can provide to the U.S. economy and also to U.S. workers. Finally, in Part VI, this Article proposes a different approach to the issue of foreigners working in the United States, one that is more in line with the free trade policies of the U.S. Government and still protects U.S. labor. With a more open approach to foreign workers, U.S. businesses and workers could achieve significant gains.