Gary Locke, Carlos Gutierrez mislead; support braindraining the world with skilled immigration

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Current Department of Commerce secretary Gary Locke and his predecessor Carlos Gutierrez offer the editorial "Building competitiveness through immigration 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 companies that end up employing some number of Americans, most of the immigrants will just be more competition in an already very weak job market. That doesn't faze immigration boosters, who either have an extremist ideology they're promoting or who are simply paid not to have any shame.

But, at least Locke and Gutierrez admit they want to braindrain other countries even if they do it in a misleading, roundabout way:

If our nation is going to avoid a reverse “brain-drain” and attract and keep highly skilled entrepreneurial talent here, we also need to address the visa wait time for educated and skilled professionals.

There's very little braindrain from the U.S. to other countries; few native-born Americans are leaving the U.S. to go start internet companies in China. What they pretend is a braindrain from the U.S. to other countries is in actual fact the reverse: they want us to take some of the smartest people in India and China (and other countries in even worse shape) and keep them here. See skilled immigration for a discussion of why that's not at all a good public policy.

They further mislead with this:

According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started 25 percent of U.S. public companies that were venture-backed - including Google, eBay, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems and Intel.

There were eleven founders for those five companies, and only four of them were immigrants (36%). Only one of those companies (eBay) was started by a person or group who were all foreign-born. Of Google's two founders, only one was foreign-born. The same is true of Yahoo. Only one of four founders of Sun was foreign born. And, both founders of Intel were born in the U.S. (Andy Grove was born in Hungary but he wasn't an Intel founder). So, watch out for skilled immigration proponents cooking the books on statistics or just outright lying.

Note that this editorial follows Obama being asked puffball questions - including one about start up visas - at Twitter's AskObama event. See Google corporate, Youtube corporate, and Facebook for other instances of Obama being treated with kid gloves by Silicon Valley.

[1] ajc.com/opinion/building-competitiveness-through-immigration-1019415.html