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Should Techies Trump All Others In Immigration Reform? 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the front-of-the-line dept.
theodp writes "In an open letter on TechCrunch, Vivek Wadhwa calls on Congressman Luis Gutierrez to lift his 'hold on Silicon Valley' and stop tying immigration reform for highly-skilled STEM immigrants to the plight of undocumented immigrants. So, why should the STEM set get first dibs? 'The issues of high-skilled and undocumented immigrants are both equally important,' says Wadhwa, but 'the difference is that the skilled workers have mobility and are in great demand all over the world. They are getting frustrated and are leaving in droves.' Commenting on Gutierrez's voting record, Wadhwa adds, 'I would have voted for visas for 50,000 smart foreign students graduating with STEM degrees from U.S. universities over bringing in 55,000 randomly selected high-school graduates from abroad. The STEM graduates would have created jobs and boosted our economy. The lottery winners will come to the U.S. with high hopes, but will face certain unemployment and misery because of our weak economy.' So, should Gutierrez cede to Wadhwa's techies-before-Latinos proposal, or would this be an example of the paradox of virtuous meritocracy undermining equality of opportunity?"
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Should Techies Trump All Others In Immigration Reform?

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  • How about... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:55AM (#42858193) Homepage Journal
    How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home
    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mpsmps (178373) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#42858285)

      How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home

      Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

      • by l3v1 (787564)
        Well, with continued and recent attention to NASA and JPL, don't forget http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_von_K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n [wikipedia.org]. But such a list could be potentially endless...
      • Yes. If this sarcastic post doesn't make obvious they are all immigrants.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:22AM (#42858443)

        Kids aren't going into STEM these days because they aren't encouraged, don't see much opportunity, and let's face it, you want to get really rich and successful, STEM isn't the way. US citizens aren't going into STEM (except maybe medicine) because there aren't enough opportunities for them.

        Why bust your ass to get a Ph.D. in some science field, do post doc, and eventually in your 40s start making a decent living whereas an MD will have you raking it in by 35?

        There just are not that many opportunities to begin with, anyway in science.

        Engineering: when a kid sees IBM, Intel, and other big companies moving their R&D overseas WTF are they supposed to think?

        And then with these immigrants coming in, it puts further downward pressure on salaries - which is EXACTLY what industry wants. This isn't about lack of talent; this is about messing with supply and demand of labor.

        Things have changed dramatically since Tesla, Bell, etc ...

        Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

        Oh right! All those tens of thousands of H1-Bs are going to be like them!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by bickerdyke (670000)

          US citizens aren't going into STEM (except maybe medicine)

          That "M" isn't for medicine, but for Maths.

          Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

          Oh right! All those tens of thousands of H1-Bs are going to be like them!

          Most likely not. But the bigger the number, the bigger the chance that someone like them will be among them.

          • But the bigger the number, the bigger the chance that someone like them will be among them.

            Of course, the corollary to this is that the bigger the number the fewer actual Americans will get an opportunity to shine, too. ...And isn't the government of this country supposed to be working int he best interests of actual citizens first?

            • Who's to say immigration won't benefit all, or at least most citizens? It's in people's interest to get the best inventors and workers of the world, isn't it? Let's assume genius is born, and not made. In that scenario, the probability of an Einstein increases with the population .. so if you select 50000 from the top bracket of the world .. there is more likely to be a superior Einstein than those of the low opportunity population in the US -- since the top in the US do have the opportunity already anyway

              • Who's to say immigration won't benefit all, or at least most citizens?

                Modern history. Specifically, the scandal of H1-B abuse in this country which is used by our largest corporations to artificially deflate the market-price for high-tech labor by importing cheap foreign labor to replace Americans. The "you must exhaust all opportunities to hire an American!" rule of H1-B hiring is just a fig-leaf that these companies get around by posting a role that NOBODY meets the requirements for, then using the fact that none of the applicants met the (insane) criteria for hiring as an

        • by Bengie (1121981)

          And then with these immigrants coming in, it puts further downward pressure on salaries - which is EXACTLY what industry wants.

          If you're talking about R&D/Tech jobs, then that's a good thing. Prices go down, more investment goes into creating local jobs, we get a leg up on the rest of the world, our money gains value.

          The only down side is our salary goes down, but that's only for people with similar skills. If you paid $100k for an education of the same quality that one could get for $10k somewhere else, then you're getting ripped off. Blame the educational system.

      • by wisty (1335733)

        Arguably William Shockley too. His parents were American, but he was born in the UK.

        A couple of the Traitorous Eight (who left Shockley's lab, to found Silicon Valley) were immigrants too, including Kleiner. Yes, the one who bankrolled Google (among many other things).

        • Shockley is not a good example. If you have one parent who is a US Citizen, you child is a natural citizen – not a naturalized citizen (which is important if you plan on running for President).

          The other examples, on the other hand, are wonderful.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup

        OK, that settles it. Immediately cancel all visa programs and deport every single foreign techie - the world simply cannot afford another disaster of the same scale as C++!

    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:08AM (#42858307)

      Consider this instead: STEM visa holders got an education that didn't cost a penny to the US, and brought that added value to the US.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        And displaced an American who was educated here and along with the cost of their education...
        • by Bengie (1121981)
          There is high demand for STEM and not enough people to fill. I've been getting head-hunted for years. Constant bombardment of high paying jobs($80k-$100k), but I'm happy where I am. Pretty good for a $20k state uni education and fresh out of college when all of the calls started.

          If you got replaced by someone with a VISA, it wasn't for your salary.
      • by Ryanrule (1657199)

        Added value for tax dodging Texas companies you mean

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Consider this instead: STEM visa holders got an education that didn't cost a penny to the US, and brought that added value to the US.

        It's worse than that. Many STEM visa holders had some training or education in the US (especially post-docs), which was usually funded by some US agency or organization.

        But because of the visa situation, they are forbidden from actually applying these skills here. The US spends lots of money training these folks, then kicks them out.

        Posting anonymously due to being almost in this situation (J visa expiring soon).

    • Re:How about... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MiniMike (234881) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:52AM (#42858709)

      I'm all for increasing STEM graduates in the USA. But according to this article [usnews.com] there were 600,000 unfilled STEM jobs in the USA last year, and 300,000 unemployed STEM workers ("only one unemployed STEM worker for two unfilled STEM jobs throughout the country"- not finding one of those 600k jobs due to mismatched skill sets). This does include skilled blue-collar jobs. Even if a decent STEM education program were implemented now, and enough students entered it, it would be several years before they were ready to enter the workforce. Those jobs are there now. If there were a surplus of STEM workers in the USA, or even close to it, then there's no way we should be importing thousands of foreign STEM workers- but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle@hotma i l . com> on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:30PM (#42860113) Homepage

      How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home

      Could the mod who moderated "flamebait" on this please anonymously post justification? We have 20 million unemployed, many of them techies over 40 who can't get a call back because the employer prefers cheaper (pronounced "younger") people who don't have as many family complications and the expectations of good benefits (like health insurance and pension/401k match.)

      It seems to me that it is a perfectly legitimate point of view, and not an invitation to flaming, that we shouldn't be importing something we already have a supply of (and the capacity to generate more of) just to depress wages. Part of the problem is the attitude that an employee must either have the sun, moon, and stars (and often in quantities that don't jive with reality--i.e. a demand for 15 years of .Net experience, for example) to earn a competitive salary (i.e. one that would entice you to leave your current job) or be willing to work so cheaply that the employer would be foolish not to pay for a little training to "catch them up" on the job.

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        Techies have a 3.3% unemployment rate, and some specific fields are sub 1%. I don't think we have much to worry about from immigrants.
        • Techies have a 3.3% unemployment rate

          Split it demographically by age and you find that unemployment for "techies" north of 40 is significantly higher--closer to double the national unemployment for all industries. The problem this creates is that these are educated, skilled people who expected another 20 "high-earning" years before we put them on an ice floe.

          • And add to that people that are underemployed as well - Someone that is well educated/experienced and is forced into tech support (or worse) in order to put food on the table. All the unemployment rate is quoting how many people have a job or are looking - not whether the job is the best fit for the people who have them.
    • Flamebait? How perverse. Like TheRealMindChild, I'd rather see some effort made to improve living conditions for these people in their own homelands. Why do we NEED immigrants again? Oh yeah - it's politically correct to allow a few tears to be photographed on your face while talking about how bad it is in _____________ (fill in whichever country makes you weep).

      If those STEM kids were so smart, maybe they should begin improving conditions at home. If those lesser gifted illegals are so industrious, th

  • by Stirling Newberry (848268) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:56AM (#42858205) Homepage Journal
    Corporate profits as a share of the economy are at all time lows, and we need to constrain rapacious labor to improve the economy. Sadly, the numbers do not bear this out. Stop giving out indentured servitude, let people stay here on work visas which allow them to change employers, and charge the same price with the same rights as USC/GC. And by the way, the evidence indicates that people are leaving because the American economy is growing sluggishly, and many countries are more attractive to return to because the are democratizing. http://www.nber.org/papers/w18780 [nber.org] But why listen to data when making policy if it gets in the way of lowering wages, throwing people out of jobs, and creating a non-voting class of workers, who cannot protect their rights with political power, against Citizen United empowered super-people?
    • by Vladius (2577555)
      Better idea. Abolish the H1B visa altogether. Make the companies actually pay people for their knowledge for a change.
      • And how would they get a green card if they can't work here?
    • by Cassini2 (956052)

      I think you have nailed one of the two major issues:
      a) Reform the system so H1B's are portable between employers, and
      b) Keep the high-tech workers in the US.

      From an outsider's perspective, one of the real advantages of the US is that people from all over the world will come and work in the US. The same can't be said for China and/or India. The issue with kicking skilled foreign workers out of the US is that they start foreign businesses outside the US to compete against workers in the US. The result i

      • by malkavian (9512)

        From an outsider's perspective, one of the real advantages of the US is that people from all over the world will come and work in the US. The same can't be said for China

        Strange, the amount of tech campuses being built in China is pretty large (I saw some on my last visit there a few years ago), and the amount of people that are more than happy to work in China is similarly pretty huge.

        • It’s not about the amount of raw talent – though that is a consideration.

          One of the geniuses of United States is that we bring together the best and the brightest where they can interact.
          Partly it is a networking thing, getting the best people regardless of where they are born.
          Partly it is a diversity thing - Diverse viewpoints can unlock new insights.
          Partly it is a globe thing – If you are going to run a global economy it h

  • by Slippery_Hank (2035136) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:57AM (#42858207)
    I don't see any reason why America needs equality of opportunity for immigrants when it doesn't even have it for its own citizens. Take only the best and do whats best for your country.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      And how many of your ancestors were the best?
      How many jobs/positions need filling that can use something other than the best?

      There are plenty of Americans who will take the "muck" jobs (I was once one, when I needed to be). However there are also plenty who won't (I can think of two individuals I know who leech off of others because they only will accept jobs in their desired fields). These immigrants will compete with the Americans willing to muck when needed, yes - but generally we are also the Americans

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > And how many of your ancestors were the best?

        My ancestors came here with no strings attached and weren't indentured servants.

        People that are smart enough to be imported here today should be treated the same way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      And within the country, allowing in skilled migrants promotes equality by increasing competition at the top of the wage scale. Dean Baker included this as one of the ways that the upper classes protect themselves (competition for thee, not for me) http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/cns.html#2 [deanbaker.net] Anyway, as a knowledge worker, I'm totally comfortable with inviting more "competitors" because I actually think of them as "colleagues". I think that their presence will increase the productivity of nativ
  • by crazyjj (2598719) *

    The STEM graduates would have created low paying jobs and boosted company profits.

    FTFY

  • Whom do we owe? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mariox19 (632969) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:59AM (#42858231)

    [W]ould this be an example of the paradox of virtuous meritocracy undermining equality of opportunity?"

    I'm not saying that we should necessarily give precedence to immigration applications from STEM candidates; I take exception to the assumptions in the statement I quoted. No country, not even the United States, owes "equality of opportunity" to those who have not yet entered the country. Do we owe the whole world this?

    My father came to this country over 50 years ago under the conditions of "what can you do for the U.S." There had to be a recognized need for his skills and someone had to sponsor him. I see no reason for a completely egalitarian lottery. Unless we're going to open the floodgates, it makes sense to pick and choose to some degree.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:00AM (#42858235)

    It happens all the time in tech. Every hear of a nurse having to train his/her H1B replacement?

    The idea of tech visa workers is to lower wages, not because foreign talent is needed. Anybody who works with a lot of H1Bs will tell you, they are generally not exceptional. In fact, most H1Bs are entry level, and only about 7% work at an advanced level.

    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      I'd rather have an entry-level H1B here, earning and spending money in the US (and paying taxes), than to have the same guy over in India or wherever.

      (I'm sure being in India does constrain his ability to compete with my technology skills somewhat, but not enough that I can stop worrying about him.)

      • I'd rather have an entry-level H1B here, earning and spending money in the US (and paying taxes), than to have the same guy over in India or wherever.

        (I'm sure being in India does constrain his ability to compete with my technology skills somewhat, but not enough that I can stop worrying about him.)

        Since most H1-B's are entry level, not "advanced" workers at all, and we have millions of fresh grads chomping at the bit for the few entry level positions available, what sense does it make to then import people to drive down wages and increase competition for a group that can barely get employed in the first place?

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:29AM (#42858501) Homepage

      In fact, most H1Bs are entry level, and only about 7% work at an advanced level.

      In fact, 93% of statistics are made up on the spot. As far as the average quality of H1B holders, I've worked with some brilliant H1Bs, and some real idiot H1Bs. Just like among the native-born Americans, the idiots outnumber the geniuses.

      You're right about the purpose of those visas, of course, but don't get mad at the H1Bs, who are leaving their home to work because that's the way they can earn as much as possible for their family back home. They're absolutely exploiting the difference between salaries in the US and salaries in other countries, but what they're doing isn't morally any different than someone from leaving Mississippi (average income $31K) and getting work in DC (average income $71K).

  • Blah, blah, blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:03AM (#42858253) Homepage Journal

    Here we go again. The supposed shortage of IT workers has been repeatedly shown to be false. While the IT industry has fared much better than most after the Bush depression, to claim that there is a shortage is just plain wrong.

    There are thousands of people willing to do the jobs but it is the employers who are the sticking point. They want someone under 30, with 10 or more years of experience in multiple languages, willing to work long hours for average pay.

    Article after article I have read all say the same thing: employers admit they are looking for someone with exceptional skills but then go on to admit their wages are not competitive AND they are unwilling to train people.

    Only in extreme situations are there shortages of qualified people and those are few and far between. The disconnect between what is available and what HR/employers say they want is the overriding reason for this supposed "shortage".

    Until employers get their heads out of their asses and stop whining about how they can't find anyone when they get 200+ resumes for a posting, they can go pound sand.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Didn't you get the memo? Only a godless America-hating communist would allow market forces to drive wages up when there is an alternative.

      There are no uncompetitive salaries, only lazy workers.

    • also to much need degree and passing over tech / trade schools at the same time. Parts of IT need more of a hands on tech / trades setting and the old degree system is a poor fit also CS IS NOT IT.

    • I couldn't have said it better myself.

      With record levels of unemployment/underemployment, 50% of college grads unemployed (and probably higher if you count those flipping burgers because they couldn't find anything better), we should be looking to slow down immigration programs until our own can get to work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There is a shortage.

      I run a small team of four people in a small publishing company. My work is 9-5 to the dot. I don't work weekends or after hours unless the site is down in a catastrophic way and that's incredibly rare for us. I'm required to be a full stack web developer since the whole team is so small. I need to know Linux OS administration as well as engineering level PHP to maintain a number of web properties.

      When I was looking for our 4th developer by far the most impressive resume came from a guy

      • No business is gonna spend months teaching you basic practices.

        That's why some people go to college. Others go do open source projects. Anyone worth hiring is going to be able to pick up PHP/JavaScript syntax in a week or two.

        Saying that employers should "pound sand" because they can't find a single person in 200+ resumes is incredibly short sighted.

        People say that because it's hard to believe that no one in the stack of resumes does not have any skills/knowledge/experience that can transfer to your projects. Just because they may not be able to write beautiful JavaScript in the first hour on the first day of their employment with you, does not mean they will not be a profitable employee.

    • Here we go again. The supposed shortage of IT workers has been repeatedly shown to be false.

      No it hasn't. It's actually quite painful in software development. Pretty much everything we use requires software. Cars, refrigerators, assembly lines, medical equipment, farming equipment, power plants ... you name it. And there are just not enough software engineers for the industry.

      Or maybe there are some but they don't want to work for a power tool manufacturer in Ohio. That's the problem. CS graduates from US want to work in New York or California for Google or IBM. We were looking for a SW developer

      • by Jiro (131519)

        The problem is that employers aren't willing to pay the market rate for the job that they're demanding, and since they're not willing to pay the market rate, they can't find anyone to hire. There's only a shortage of cheap employees, not a shortage of employees.

        What you don't realize is that "for the job you're demanding" doesn't just mean a list of skills. The location of the job is part of the job, and part of what affect the market rate. If the job is in the middle of nowhere in Ohio, and you're only

        • That's just an chicken and an egg problem. High prices are an indication and a consequence of shortage of supply.

          Take this ad [monster.com] for instance. They are willing to pay around $100k to an experienced sw engineer to work in Cleveland, OH. That's around 4 times the median income in the area.

          I assume there are not many US SW engineers with experience in industrial automation looking for a job in Cleveland. How much will it take for somebody to take that job? 200K? 500K? Might be more than the company can afford.

          • Again, why is on-the-job training/mentoring/internships not an option? Simply pontificating about it here on Slashdot does not solve the problem. You're basically creating a chicken and egg problem. You'd rather import labor rather than hire someone who may not have all the knowledge/experience - this person will end up sucking off the teat of the government. Sounds real good to me...

            • Sure, you can hire a graduate and somewhere down the road, in 3 years, he may become a Sr. SW Developer. There's kids who could make it in 9 months but guess what - they don't want to work in industrial automation in Cleveland either. So you're looking at the engineer you desperately need 3 years down the road. Maybe. If he/she doesn't leave. Or turn out to be a bust.

              Because that's what might have happened to that company that is now looking for a Sr. SW Developer in Cleveland. That's what happened in our t

              • I don't see what the problem here with the things you laid out. You could hire a senior level guy and they could bust or leave in 9 months as well because they hate Cleveland and you're back to square one. Or he could hate your company. You're forgetting that hiring is inherently risky.

    • Yes, employers are being dishonest even with themselves. Office politics most certainly extends into hiring decisions. They want high skills, but they don't want candidates with PhDs. They want someone who is good but not too good. They seem to want an idiot savant who is a genius at technical work but a complete fool with money who will be in a world of hurt if that all important income takes a hit. They say they're afraid the doctors will leave out of boredom. They think a PhD doesn't mean anything

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        It doesn't take a genius to realize that housing is governed by supply and demand as it relates to inelastic demand of non-luxury goods. IOW: you can't choose to live under a bridge. This means that EVERYONE needs to rent somewhere and there is only so much land to go around.

        This is why it's cheaper to live in the middle of Ohio than it is London or Tokyo or Silicon Valley.

        McMansions, where they are available tend to be cheaper than a shack in a popular high density urban area.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#42858291)

    I would have voted for visas for 50,000 smart foreign students graduating with STEM degrees from U.S. universities over bringing in 55,000 randomly selected high-school graduates from abroad

    Or we could hire Americans. First, it doesn't steal jobs from Americans. Second, it keeps talented individuals in their home countries instead of leaving their country with fewer skilled workers. That's kinda a big thing in 3rd world countries.

  • We might as well let the cream of the crop immigrate here and reap the rewards of high paying local jobs.

    By contrast, a lot of manual labor is specific to a locale: gardening, cleaning, garbage collection. There's no reason to have able-bodied Americans collecting welfare because illegal aliens take those first jobs on the rung of the economic ladder because taxes and regulations have made them cheaper to employee under the table than to comply with a hose of regulations and taxes for hiring Americans.

    Impor

  • by acidfast7 (551610) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:14AM (#42858365)
    and by-passes the usually necessary requirement of not being able to find a "local" to do the work and the mandatory language requirements. STEM graduates almost always have special rights over here. In Germany (my current location), the Blue Card scheme is fully implemented ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Card_(European_Union) [wikipedia.org]
  • Back in 200 when Bush II was elected. most people did not really know or care about immigration. Reagan had solved a big part of the problem of the problem through amnesty, the ones most effected, tech, recreation, and oil, were not a huge part of the national psyche. Bush was elected on a very soft policy towards undocumented workers.

    But then those undocumented workers started entering the midwest, the economy tanked to 10 years, 9/11, etc and everyone began to freak.

    Some of the problems with firms wh

    • Here's a big part of the problem: As a country, we are throwing a large amount of resources at education. The government even props up the student loan business and the states are heavily into education - not just K-12 but state run universities.

      If we want to support education because it is a Good Thing (tm), shouldn't the government be allowed to recoup the investment - i.e. we don't want people to get 13 or more years of education partially/fully funded by tax payers for them to go work at McDonalds a

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:25AM (#42858459)
    There is a misguided perception, here, that immigration is about fairness. It is, in fact, about the benefit a society accrues from accepting the immigrant. You take on another mouth to feed in light of the production you will gain. Wringing hands over the ideal of welcoming all "wretched refuse" is to confuse poetry with reality.
    • by ljw1004 (764174)

      There is a misguided perception, here, that immigration is about fairness. It is, in fact, about the benefit a society accrues from accepting the immigrant.

      Why? "Because I says so".

      The reality is that ideas of fairness have a huge impact on many aspects of the world, including immigration. You might try to get all reductionist and say "the bill of rights only happened because we did psychohistory calculations and determined that its net advantages to society outweighed its net disadvantages and societies with a bill of rights tend to prosper more". But that's ridiculous because no such calculations are accurate, and they all are swayed more the author's biases

      • Actually, the Bill of Rights was an outgrowth of the public perception of events surrounding Shays' Rebellion.

        The U.S. immigration policy is founded in the principles of Expansionism, which takes as its dictum, "growth is good". On a planet with 7 billion people, there is reason to question that wisdom.

        Ideals are worthwhile, but rarely pay the rent, just ask Karl Marx. Policy that is dictated by idealogy most often comes at a very high cost.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:36AM (#42858557)
    Wants highly trained, highly skilled people when immigrating. Try to immigrate to Mexico. If you are a fruit picker, you aren't going to be able to. IT person with a great skillset? Your likelihood of being let in greatly improves.

    But yes, lets bash America for wanting the same thing every other country does when allowing people to immigrate, some standards.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:59AM (#42858797)

    1) Import a bunch of smart, engineerish types who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

    2) Leave a bunch of smart, engineerish types in their home countries, where they do the work for $5/hr or less, and who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

    Like it or not, the first option is probably less damaging to your salary and career, and better for everyone in the USA in the long run.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:16AM (#42858977)
    The H series is meant to be temporary. Most the applicants for these intend to stay in the US. The H visa leads to grief for employees and abuse by employers.
    • by Xugumad (39311)

      The counterpoint is I would want to know how many actually do stay, and how many do 6-12 months and decide it's not actually for them...

  • 20% of the Canadian immigration point system is for advanced degrees and a waiting job. I hear it is like that for many other countries too.
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:37AM (#42859225)

    Send Justin Bieber and Celine Dion back. Please.

  • Sorry, but trying to justify amnesty for millions by pointing at 50,000 scientists and engineers is a ruse.

  • We bounce STEM graduates out of the country and we make student loans available to people who want to study subjects that will never lead to employment and income that will allow them to repay their student loans, so we create a permanent underclass who will have to work low wage jobs and always be behind in their student loan repayment. Meanwhile, STEM graduate, doctoral, and post doctoral students have to pay 6.5-8.5%, presumably to make up for all the underwater basket weaving dopes who will never be a

  • by Spazmania (174582) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:31PM (#42860131) Homepage

    There shouldn't even be a quota for immigrants with a higher education. The idea that we're turning away highly skilled people who *want* to be here is positively insane.

  • An H1B is not so much a visa into the USA as an actual passport to the nation of H1. The citizens of H1s have wandered far from their place of birth but eventually will win a homeland of their own, perhaps even their own planet, where they can live in peace and ignore the phone calls asking how to fix everything.

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