November 25, 2006
Wall Street Journal Story on New Immigration Study
A story entitled "Immigrant Entrepreneurs" in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 24), begins: "Everyone knows that Intel, Yahoo, Google, eBay and Sun Microsystems are wildly successful U.S. technology companies. Less well known is that immigrant entrepreneurs played a role in founding each one -- and a whole lot of others." The article proceeds to discuss a new study from the National Venture Capital Association is a welcome reminder that foreign workers make their fair share of important contributions to our economy.
November 25, 2006 | Permalink
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Few Americans have objections to the granting visas to foreigners who are capable of contributing to our goal of maintaining our competitive edge in technology, provided the immigration policies are enforced. It's only when our graduates from engineering and science schools lose out against these people purely on the basis of wage competition that is objectionable. Industry is permitted to hire foreigners when there are no qualified Americans to fill these jobs, but proving violations of this policy is difficult. The system is currently being abused as equally qalified citizens are being denied jobs purely on the basis that visa holders will sign empoyment contracts for lower salaries than citizens would expect. However, the argument for more vigorous enforcement of immigration laws may becom moot, as the corporations that now seek lower paid highly qualified employees will eventually avoid importing them and keep them in India, Pakistan, China and elsewhere, where competition for work will keep wages at low levels for some time to come. Look for fewer immigrant start-ups in this country, as the need for visas decline when U.S. corporations establish their R&D efforts overseas. Someday, the only tech immigration you'll see is Americans moving overseas to represent management in R&D subsidiaries.
I use those in the engineering and science fields as an example, but we all know that this can be applied to almost any profession that doesn't require its representatives to appear in a specific venue within this country on a frequent basis, i.e. accountants, computer programer/analysts, certain legal specialists. There are countless others, many of which are considered lucrative and well respected professions. Except for defense and other nation security professionals, few require U.S. citizenship.
Posted by: George | Nov 25, 2006 10:42:46 AM
I think illegal immigrants take lower wage jobs. Legal immigrants should not have any reason to do that, unless it's due to lack of information or lack of understanding of labor standards - which is very possible. They need to be educated to be able to contribute to their new homes economy - if that's what we want. If not, we only have to look at poverty standards to see what 'we' do for their economy and ours!
From what I have seen, the market is always been competitive, you either have what it takes or you keep looking for work. Perhaps the expectation to find the jobs that we want is a bit unrealistic for some citizens. Citizenship or legal status alone should not be a job qualification - most people will agree with that. I also understand that proving one has exceptional skills is not easy task or abusable. But when we have to look or work harder it becomes a hard reality to swallow and we have to look for someone to blame - what better punching bag for those folks than their immigrant collegues.
Or perhaps you're talking about folks with work visas or legal "temporary" immigrants, not "permanent" immigrants or residents or green card holders? If that is the case, I guess I'd just have to remind you that temporary immigrants are a small population compared to permanent immigrants. Many permanent immigrants have high degrees of education and expertise in certain fields already.
The reality is that our country is one of the few that receives the brain power of other countries. Why are we complaining when we are the ones to benefit?
Posted by: Judy | Nov 27, 2006 1:34:32 PM
Judy, immigrants are defined under the law as persons who apply for citizenship and are granted residency status. Illegal aliens, visitors (visa holders) and temporary workers (again visa holders) are not considered to be immigrants. An immigrant is one who comes here in accordance with our immigration laws, with the intention of becoming a citizen.
By law, only citizens, legal residents, foreign diplomatic personnel (within their embassies and consulates) and persons with work visas are permitted to work in the U.S. All other persons are prohibited from obtaining permanent employment.
P.S. I erroneously referred to Amerians moving overseas to represent corporate management as immigrants, but more often than not, their residency is temporary, and thus does not constitute emigration/immigration.
Posted by: George | Nov 28, 2006 5:34:09 PM