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Skilled immigration: braindraining the world

Massive unskilled immigration has had a highly negative impact on the U.S. as a whole. Massive skilled immigration isn't much better:

Impacts on native-born

Description by uploader: Immigration attorneys from Cohen & Grigsby explains how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT finding any qualified applicants, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H-1b workers...

A number of skilled immigrants might start companies that end up employing some number of Americans, and proponents are eager to trot out statistics backing up their sales job. In some cases those statistics might be skewed: some of the companies mentioned might be very small or the role of immigrants in the company might be only partial. For an example of highly creative math by supporters of massive skilled immigration, see the misleading claim by Gary Locke and Carlos Gutierrez (link below).

Those skilled immigrants or visitors who don't start companies or who don't go home will serve as competition for Americans, especially older workers. In some cases, companies use H1B workers to keep wages low or drive Americans out of work; see the video to the right.

Social impacts

Most of our elites who need low-skilled labor have an attitude that boils down to: "let an illegal alien from Latin America do it." Their thoughts are similar when it comes to high-skilled technical labor: "let an immigrant or visitor from India or China do it."Neither of those are healthy for the U.S. There are over 300 million people living in the U.S. with a very wide range of skills. Supporters of massive skilled immigration need to spend more effort ensuring that Americans go into technical fields, rather than seeking an easy (and lower-priced) fix. The U.S.'s technical achievements in past decades were obtained with much less high-skilled immigration than today.

Modern-day colonialism and braindraining the world

Massive skilled immigration from other countries to the U.S. amounts to braindraining those foreign countries. A relatively small number of people moving from India or China might not have much impact on those countries, but the same isn't true of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, or large parts of Asia. Already struggling Third World countries need all the smart, capable people they can get.

Massive skilled immigration is in effect an updated form of colonialism. In the past, European countries would raid foreign lands for their material riches. The modern-day version is to "raid" those same countries for their more able citizens. In the long-term, the impacts of their version of colonialism will have many of the same impacts as the old colonialism. For instance, braindraining foreign countries now might result in a much larger immigration of those "left behind" in those countries later, might result in a greater demand for foreign aid by those countries, might lead to wars and conflicts, and so on. China and India are going to be two of our biggest competitors in future years, so from one perspective braindraining them might not be such a bad thing from our perspective. In a way, taking their best and brightest is a form of very soft commercial war on those countries.

Security issues

Skilled immigration proponents (many of whom are simply paid hacks) only tend to look on the bright side, like other salesmen. One downside they consistently ignore is the fact that many skilled immigrants might buy into the American concept of making money, but won't buy into other American concepts. Some or many coming here might remain loyal to their home countries, and some of them might even be spies or willing to engage in espionage for foreign companies or their home countries. Some of those immigrants might form a political power base for their home countries inside the U.S. and for home-grown or imported ethnic demagogues and others who seek race-based power.

Last modified Jul 16, 2011
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Questions for Dara Lind of Vox Media (immigration "cards") - 04/07/14

... that, are there downsides to skilled immigration that you can think of? (Hint: see the link) 5. You say "[m]any economists have found, however, that low-skilled immigrants don't necessarily drive down the wages of native workers..." Do lower-skilled illegal aliens and lower-skilled immigrants (actual immigrants this time) do jobs that unemployed Americans could do if the situation were right?...

GOP "Standards for Immigration Reform": how it's wrong, how it won't work, what you can do - 01/30/14

... deal with that? 8. Regarding skilled immigration, what guarantee is there that all or most of the foreigners who graduate from U.S. colleges would then create jobs? What if most of them end up competing with Americans for jobs? What if some of them have divided loyalties or are spies (see the "American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI" link). The GOP says "exporting this...

What Peter Eisner of PBS NewsHour can't figure out about skilled immigration - 10/20/13

... woe designed to promote more skilled immigration to the U.S., encouraging "stapling a green card" to the diplomas of foreigners who graduate from U.S. colleges. Eisner misses his mark by telling a tale of success, even if he and PBS can't figure it out. From the transcript: PETER EISNER: What draws a high tech furniture maker all the way from Ireland to Santiago, Chile? Or convinces a...

Richard Trumka admits his fellow amnesty supporters use immigration to lower wages (AFL CIO) - 05/31/13

... Business colleagues use lower-skilled immigration in order to lower wages for lower-skilled American workers. And, that too is all "about dollars and cents". His editorial is a good first step, the only thing that remains is for Trumka to put the interests of American workers ahead of his interest in more union dues and his and the Democrats' interest in more political power. -------------- [1]...

Crazy Rand Paul fully supports amnesty, misleading, Hispandering, and reading poetry to do it - 03/19/13

... would, see this. For the rest, see skilled immigration. Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors. See living in the shadows for others who've used that misleading talking point. The idea that legalization would result in assimilation is...

Austerity billionaire Peter Peterson promotes high immigration too - 10/30/12

... also quotes Kirkegaard promoting skilled immigration in particular as a "more strategic immigration policy". As stated, promoting bad immigration policy doesn't appear to be anywhere near the priority for Peterson that promoting bad fiscal policy is, but additional examples will be noted as they're found. ------------ [1] For background on his efforts, see peekURL.com/zxrwfqT and peekURL.com/...

Matt Yglesias' low level of concern for American (high-tech) workers - 09/22/12

... another group of workers. See skilled immigration and H1B for more on these issues, and write @MattYglesias with your thoughts. ------------------------ [1] Back in March 2009, I sent Yglesias and his employer the Center for American Progress an open letter describing one way they could get able-bodied, unemployed Americans working again. That plan is right out of the FDR playbook, but neither...

Mitt Romney wimps out on immigration, again (Univision, "our system isn't to deport people") - 09/20/12

... twice before: here and here. See skilled immigration for the downsides of that and related plans. * He supported Marco Rubio's version of the DREAM Act rather than pointing out the problems with such plans (see the link). * He used the system is broken and secure the border canards. * At the end, he seems to be implying that one component of reducing illegal immigration is to increase legal...

Does Dean Baker make any sense? (doctors, immigration, CEPR) - 07/30/12

... policies. For more on that, see skilled immigration.

Questions for skilled immigration supporters - 07/16/12

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...

Washington Post admits there's a surplus of scientists (skilled immigration) - 07/09/12

The elites want as much skilled immigration as they can get, yet even the Washington Post admits there aren't enough jobs for all the laboratory scientists who are here now. From "U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there" (link) by Brian Vastag: ...There are too many laboratory scientists for too few jobs. That reality runs counter to messages sent by President Obama and the...

Fareed Zakaria's GPS Road Map for immigration (CNN, Bloomberg, globalism, Kobach) - 06/06/12

... switches from discussing low-skilled immigration (the majority of those in the groups referred to in the last sentence) to discussing skilled immigration. Those "nationalist political parties" are to some degree a response to bad immigration policies, and the partial solution to those groups that are actually extremist would have been to not have bad immigration policies in the first place. And...

Mitt Romney now pandering on immigration reform - 04/03/12

... is explicitly promoting mass skilled immigration; see the link. 6. The phrase "staple a green card to their diploma" is a hoary old talking point which appears to have been started by Andy Grove. (A future post will provide examples of other using it; this note will be replaced with a link). 7. While the "we conservatives" was a nice touch, not all conservatives - or all liberals - support...

New York Times admits skilled immigration braindrains the Third World - 03/14/12

One of the major downsides of skilled immigration to the U.S. is that it also represents skilled emigration from other countries, many of which are struggling Third World countries that need all the smart people they can keep. Even the New York Times has acknowledged that fact in the article "America Is Stealing the World's Doctors" (link) by Matt McAllester of Time Magazine. Unfortunately, the...

10 things Obama's "Blueprint for an America Built to Last" doesn't tell you (immigration) - 02/01/12

... addition to the DREAM Act, promotes skilled immigration. See that link for the downsides Obama won't mention. 5. The part about "federal responsibility" appears to be a confusing reference to the Obama administration's lawsuits against states like Arizona. Those states' laws don't really address border security specifically but involve issues away from the border, such as turning illegal aliens...

Obama asked about H-1B, made to look foolish (plus: GOP's disingenuous response) - 01/31/12

... easily made the points on the skilled immigration page or in my nearly three-year-old plan to reduce unemployment any time during the past several years. However, they haven't, won't, and can't due to a combination of incompetence and corruption. Instead of discussing the impact of massive immigration on unemployment, they can only try to pin general economic factors related to the business...

Ask Tim Fernholz of GOOD why he'd harm the Third World (braindrain, skilled immigration) - 01/09/12

... countries of those same people. See skilled immigration for a longer discussion. Is it that Fernholz and GOOD can't figure out such an obvious corollary to their plan? Or, is it that they don't care? What I want you to do is this: ask Fernholz about this, since my attempts have failed [2]. Please contact Fernholz (or other GOOD representatives) on Twitter and ask: @TimFernholz You can, for...

Questions for Michel Martin: Tell Me More about your illegal immigration propaganda - 12/10/11

... Asian immigration? If we want skilled immigration, then shouldn't we focus on Asian immigration in order to get the highest percentage of skilled people? 2. For every one Mexican immigrant (legal or illegal) who goes on to become a brain surgeon, how many thousands or tens of thousands others become criminals? How does that compare with other immigrant groups? For every one Mexican immigrant (...

Hilda Solis' Labor Day: supports illegal foreign labor, misleads, and plays dumb - 09/06/11

... braindrain the world through skilled immigration, no matter the impact on both U.S. citizens and other countries. The bit about the agriculture industry would be funny if it weren't so sad: the idea that growers are forced to turn to illegal aliens is absurd because those are who they prefer. They know there's little chance of them getting into trouble over hiring illegal aliens, and they'll be...

Whitehouse has an attitude problem: favors skilled immigration over U.S. entrepreneurs (Cecilia Munoz, Aneesh Chopra) - 08/15/11

... announced that they'll be increasing skilled immigration, no Congressional approval required. Only after doing that did they solicit input from citizens by asking for comments on Twitter and Facebook [1]. Their brief summary of the input they received shows yet again that the Obama administration - as with almost all of the establishment - has an attitude problem. Namely, they have a core...

DHS now using loopholes to allow more skilled immigration, no legislation required (Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS) - 08/03/11

... they're going to be allowing more skilled immigration, even as millions of Americans - including tech workers - are unemployed. Rather than putting it to a vote by trying to pass a bill, they're going to be using loopholes in the current laws. From this: Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced a policy shift Tuesday that will help more immigrant...

Gary Locke, Carlos Gutierrez mislead; support braindraining the world with skilled immigration - 07/17/11

... reform" [1]. It argues for massive skilled immigration, some form of start up visas, and "strengthening" the H1B program (which undoubtedly means increasing the current limits). In case anyone needs reminding (and obviously some do), all of this occurs as millions of Americans are unemployed, including large numbers of engineers. While a small number of those skilled immigrants might start...

2006: George Will supports amnesty, guest workers; misleads with false choice; "unlimited" skilled immigration - 07/03/11

... policy for skilled immigrants (skilled immigration). See all those links. And, by saying "there are no plausible incentives to get the 11 million [illegal aliens] to board the buses", Will is unwittingly admitting that the U.S. has been "settled": millions of foreign citizens live in the U.S. and - despite the fact that most Americans don't want them living here - it would take force to get them...

NFAP misleads on skilled immigration (Stuart Anderson, Frank Sharry, National Foundation for American Policy) - 05/25/11

... huge problems caused by mass low-skilled immigration. To see that Anderson is coming to a highly misleading conclusion, all you have to do is compare where most of today's immigrants are coming from to the table provided in his study. Each number is the number of finalists whose parents are from the given countries: China 16 United States 12 India 10 Iran 1 South Korea 1 If Anderson had said...

Obama misleads on immigration at Facebook; Zuckerberg and incompetent/corrupt GOP, Teaparty leaders help - 04/21/11

... Valley companies. (UPDATE: see skilled immigration). 7. In the speech, Obama used a word more often associated with libertarians: "dynamism" (see former Reason Magazine editor Virginia Postrel). He also used a word that's probably more at home among far-left academics: "acculturated". Balance! The excerpt from whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/20/ remarks-president-facebook-town-hall...