Trump's anti-American, pro-Silicon Valley skilled immigration ideas

In a 1/18/17 interview on Fox News by Ainsley Earhardt [1] (video below), Donald Trump yet again promised the outlines of a skilled immigration plan that would be friendly to the Silicon Valley investor class and unfriendly to American high-tech workers.

As previously noted here, Trump is restating a Mitt Romney line for Trump's audience, selling them on something that will harm American workers while further enriching those like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

In the interview, Trump was also asked about the anti-American DREAM Act and, as he has before, he staked out the anti-American position on that. The DREAM Act part of the interview is discussed here.

After Trump yet again promised to build Trump Wall, Earhardt read a question supposedly sent in by a viewer (around 11:00 on the video):

Will you consider creating a legal status to work for non-criminal undocumented citizens brought here as children?

Trump responded:

I understand that. And we're working on a plan right now. And that plan over the next two to three months is going to come out. And it's a plan that's going to be very firm but it's going to be a lot of heart. And we're going to be looking into that situation. That's a very tough situation. But I think they're going to end up being very happy. We're going to have great people coming into our country. People that love our country. And we're also going to have people come in to our country merit-based. You look at Silicon Valley. They can't get - somebody graduates number one in their class from Harvard and they get thrown out of the country. We're going to have great people and people of great talent coming in to our country. We're going to have also merit-based. And that's so important. We don't have that right now. If you can think of this, some of the Silicon Valley companies want to build up in Canada because in Canada they're able to get the people that they need and they can't get them in this country because we don't allow in this country. So, we're going to take care of a lot of situations and we're going to have a lot of heart. Believe me, it's going to have a heart almost as big as yours.

Note that Trump pivoted from a question about "DREAMers" into a discussion of skilled high-tech immigration and capturing foreign citizens who've attended U.S. universities. Note also Trump ending what he said with an attempt to charm in order to avoid any sort of follow-up question.

What happened in between was Trump only listening to one side of the story: that of Silicon Valley investors who want to make as much money as possible using cheap, pliable labor. There are over 318 million people in the U.S., and the idea that Silicon Valley can't get the people they need is absurd. The solution to any real or imagined labor shortage is for companies to pay more, to retrain older engineers, and for universities to better prepare workers. Those like Zuckerberg are allergic to the first two and - like Trump - lack the patriotism to push for the latter instead of simply importing younger, cheaper, more pliable foreign workers.

Merit-based immigration is a better idea than chain migration, but it has its downsides too. If a foreign citizen graduates from a top U.S. school with high honors and they're allowed to remain here, that means they won't return to their home country. That harms their home country, and harming foreign countries will have a negative impact on the U.S. in the long term. If that person returned home, they could help build up their own country and help prevent the rise of demagogues (in that country), the spread of terrorism, and so on. Because Trump can't think beyond superficial things like making money and his ego, he likely hasn't even considered the full, long-term impacts of his policies.

Note also how different Trump is companies moving plants to foreign countries to save on labor costs, compared to giving companies cheap foreign labor as long as it's located in the U.S. Rather than intellectually defeating rootless, unpatriotic globalists, Trump gives them what they want.

See March's Donald Trump and skilled immigration (H-1B visas, green cards) for more, including how similar Trump is on this issue to Mitt Romney and Mark Zuckerberg.

[1] The interview was on Fox and Friends. A 12-year-old student reporter or a contestant at one of Trump's pageants might have been a tougher interviewer than Ainsley Earhardt. On the other hand, Earhardt wasn't as sycophantic as some of those who've interviewed Barack Obama so she's yet to reach the level of, say, Jeff Zeleny.