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Questions for skilled immigration supporters

Massive skilled immigration has or could have serious consequences both for the U.S. and other countries, but you'll rarely hear anything about that from its loudest advocates.

What's worse, the establishment media refuses to ask those advocates about the downsides of what they promote, instead choosing to simply retransmit their flawed ideas.

Now, here's your chance to change things.

To show everyone what those advocates won't discuss, go to their personal appearances and ask them one of the questions below. Or, ask them on Twitter, or on Facebook, or in the comments sections of news sites. Then, highlight their responses - or their failure to respond.

* See Question Authority for a general action plan.

* See how and why to discredit intermediaries.

* See skilled immigration for background on the topic.

If you don't get involved, things are going to continue as they have: those like Michael Bloomberg are going to keep promoting bad policies, and the media is going to keep just writing them down.

Here are the questions; feel free to add more in comments or request questions tailored to specific people; more may be added later:

1. In Mexico, somewhere around 3500 to 6000 students excel at math. Those are, needless to say, very small numbers (if the U.S. had Mexico's population, that would be around 100,000). If the U.S. attracts 1000 or even less of those Mexicans who excel at math, what impact would that have on that country? Doesn't Mexico need all the smart people they can hold on to, and wouldn't your plans make that country's situation even worse?

2. In March, the New York Times admitted that skilled immigration braindrains the Third World (title: "America Is Stealing the World’s Doctors"). Is it good for Zambia that Kunj Desai (a doctor featured in that article) came to the U.S.? Don't Zambia and other Third World countries need all the doctors they can hold on to?

3. What would be the impact on the U.S. if large numbers of our top scientists emigrated to other countries? Wouldn't it harm the U.S. if, say, even just one quarter of the Americans in the graduating classes of MIT and CalTech emigrated to China? Speaking of which, is there a large exodus of Americans to foreign countries?

4. While some foreign workers might eventually return home and help their home countries, another form of what some call "foreign aid" [1] is remittances: the money foreigners inside the U.S. send back to those in their home countries. Whatever the supposed benefits of remittances, would you agree that the downsides include: creating an unnatural dependence between countries; encouraging the U.S. Federal Reserve and member banks to profit from illegal activity (see the links), and propping up corrupt foreign governments? Whatever the benefits of remittances, would you say they're greater than the cost of taking the pressure off the Mexican government to reform? Are they greater than the cost of encouraging corruption inside the U.S.? Are they greater than the cost of turning the Mexican interior into ghost towns? The 2005 Congressional Budget Office found (www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=6366) that remittances to Haiti were 100 times larger than Foreign Direct Investment. And, remittances were 156% of exports. Is that a good thing in your mind?

5. Some might consider skilled immigration to be a soft economic war with BRIC countries: a way to pull ahead and push them behind by bringing their smarter people here. Let's assume for the moment that's what's actually going on.

a) What impact could we have on very populous countries like India and China?

b) If large numbers of people move here from one country, some number are going to be covertly partisans or even agents of that country (ironically, see Bloomberg's "American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI", link). In the case of technical workers, some might be working in critical jobs and some of their actions might be hidden for years. China already has a spy network inside the U.S. and massive immigration from that country would give them plenty of new recruits. What's your plan to deal with that?

6. There's a possibility that massive skilled immigration will work out fine for everyone (or at least won't end up harming the U.S. long-term). But, I want you to be intellectually honest and admit that things could go wrong, and then describe your contingency plans in detail. If you don't have contingency plans in case what you promote goes south, then let us know that too.

For instance, braindraining Mexico would probably result in even more smuggling and even more illegal immigration. Would you see that as a beneficial side-effect? If not, what do you intend to do about it?

U.S. government aid alone after the Haitian earthquake was around $2 billion (link), with several more billions from NGOs, other governments, and so on. Wouldn't that be far less if that country hadn't been experiencing a braindrain (for various reasons) going back centuries? Didn't that braindrain result in lower building standards, less of an emergency infrastructure, and so on? How much worse would you make things in such countries?

Of course, there's a possibility that things could get even worse. For instance, some of the sources of skilled immigrants have nuclear weapons. Braindraining those countries could result in (even worse) demagogues being elected or dictators seizing power, and they'd have their fingers on the button. What would you suggest to prevent that?

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[1] Remittances getting called "foreign aid": Dick Morris, Open Letter on Immigration. ADDED: Another instance of them being called "foreign aid".

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 06:10 · Importance: 4