skilled immigration

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 Feb 16, 2023
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Trump's 2019 immigration plan would harm the U.S. and everyone else - 05/16/19

Donald Trump has released the outlines of a new immigration plan [1]. He pushes skilled immigration despite the huge downsides to the U.S. and other countries.

What Reihan Salam can't figure out about immigration - 09/21/18

At the Wall Street Journal, Reihan Salam blogs "A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis" [1]. He hasn't yet figured out how things actually work in the real world. Salam lives in a fantasy world where he can spend paragraph after paragraph supporting assimilation, a melting pot, and a form of civic nationalism, and then propose a plan that would dash all that:

Donald Trump finally makes a smart argument against mass immigration - 05/21/17

After nearly two years of intensely stupid plans and arguments about immigration that - as reality demonstrates - would only work if the world were run by Breitbart News, Donald Trump has finally made a smart argument against mass immigration. If he repeats it without junking it up, he could use it to finally do a national service and undercut those who support mass refugee resettlement and mass immigration in general. That's, of course, a tall order: Trump and his fan club have consistently helped the wrong side in various ways.

What Anna Maria Barry-Jester of 538 didn't tell you about doctors and Trump's travel ban - 03/06/17

Anna Maria Barry Jester of Five Thirty Eight offers "Trump's New Travel Ban Could Affect Doctors, Especially In The Rust Belt And Appalachia" [1] There's something very important she neglected to mention, either because she couldn't figure it out or didn't care (bolding added):

What Anna Almendrala didn't tell you (Huffington Post) - 03/06/17

Anna Almendrala - a Huffington Post "Senior Healthy Living Editor" - offers "Here's Why Trump’s New Travel Ban Could Make Us Sicker, Not Safer/Doctors from the six affected countries provide vital health care in underserved regions of the U.S." [1] There's something very important she neglected to mention, either because she couldn't figure it out or didn't care:

What Alvin Chang of Vox isn't telling you about doctors and Trump's travel ban - 03/06/17

At Vox Media, Alvin Chang offers "How Trump's refugee ban hurts health care in places that voted for him/How much is your community served by doctors trained in one of the banned countries?" [1].

What Immigrant Doctors won't tell you (Trump, travel ban, Peter Ganong) - 03/06/17

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Trump's anti-American, pro-Silicon Valley skilled immigration ideas - 01/19/17

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.

Donald Trump and skilled immigration (H-1B visas, green cards) - 03/04/16

On skilled immigration, Donald Trump - at least at this moment in time - appears to support two somewhat separate positions, both of which are problematic:

Question about Ebola and skilled immigration - 10/06/14

This question is part of the Stop Amnesty Challenge. See that page for the details on the Challenge. This is the basic question: I'd like to ask you about immigration to the U.S. by skilled professionals, something you support.

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

Vox Media is a new, corporate-sponsored [1] venture from Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and others (see those links). One of their not-so-innovations is "cards": a series of blurbs about one topic divided into several pages.

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

The GOP "Standards for Immigration Reform" have been released. It's a short summary of the guidelines the Republican Party leadership will use for their own amnesty push. First I'll quote the full document, followed by a discussion of some of the ways it won't work and it misleads. That's followed by some very effective things you can do to stop the GOP effort.

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

Peter Eisner of PBS NewsHour offers a propaganda piece manqué entitled "Tight immigration rules divert high tech brains from Seattle to Santiago" ( ).

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

Richard Trumka - president of the AFL CIO - admits that big business uses immigration to lower wages. But, at the same time, he continues to support their high immigration plans. From this: Policy proposals from multinational corporations often come with slick, poll-tested rhetoric. It is always worth digging deeper.

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Earlier today, Kentucky senator Rand Paul gave a pro-amnesty speech at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that in some ways is even more shocking and more crazy than the pro-amnesty speeches George W Bush gave. In addition to being borderline nuts, Paul misleads and uses a string of pro-amnesty talking points just like his dad.

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Peter Peterson is a billionaire who's spent close to $500 million pushing austerity measures such as cutting entitlements [1]. Together with the Koch family, his millions have played a major role in the rightwing's near total obsession with spending and debt.

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

We already knew that Matt Yglesias of Slate has little concern for lower-skilled American workers [1]. But, lest there be any doubt, he doesn't have much concern for high-tech American workers either. He writes ( ):

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

Yesterday, Mitt Romney was interviewed on Univision by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas; a transcript of his answers about immigration is below.

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

Dean Baker of CEPR offers 'Doctor Shortage? NYT Has Never Heard of "Immigration"' (link). It's an open question whether he makes any sense:

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.

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.

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

On Sunday, June 10th, CNN will be broadcasting a Fareed Zakaria show [1] called "Global Lessons: The GPS Road Map for Making Immigration Work".

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

Mitt Romney and his incompetent advisors are inching him closer and closer to a weak immigration position that validates Obama's position on the issue. Romney's advisors clearly aren't smart enough to understand that won't work.

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.

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

After the State of the Union speech, the Barack Obama administration released a "Blueprint for an America Built to Last" [1]. I'll briefly describe what the section about immigration doesn't tell you. Here's the section of the Blueprint that deals with immigration:

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

At yesterday's "Google+" web chat with Barack Obama, the wife of an unemployed semiconductor engineer embarrassed him over H1B visas for foreign workers. To a certain small extent, this is a vindication of the Question Authority plan I've been promoting for over five years.

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

Last month, Tim Fernholz of GOOD Magazine offered the misleading "Immigrants Don't Take Jobs, They Create Them: Why We Need More Immigration" [1]. It's wrong on several points, but one in particular will be of interest to the readers of that "philanthropic" publication: Fernholz and GOOD are promoting braindraining the Third World and depriving poor countries of the smart people they desperately need.

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

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The Obama administration recently 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].

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

The Department of Homeland Security's USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced yesterday that they're going to be allowing more skilled immigration, even as millions of Americans - including tech workers - are unemployed.

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

Current Department of Commerce secretary Gary Locke and his predecessor Carlos Gutierrez offer the editorial "Building competitiveness through immigration reform" [1].

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On March 30, 2006, George Will offered "Guard the Borders--And Face Facts" ( ), which was designed to support George W Bush's push for comprehensive immigration reform.

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Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy offers "The Impact of the Children of Immigrants on Scientific Achievements in America" [1], which comes to a highly misleading conclusion based on a very small sample. It's also promoted by Frank Sharry's AmericasVoice [2].

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Barack Obama spoke live over Facebook yesterday at an event sponsored by that company. He misled about immigration and promoted an anti-American bill. He got direct help with his attempt to mislead from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and he got indirect help from corrupt or incompetent GOP and Teaparty leaders: