Friday, May 1, 2009

Skilled foreigners

It's as if Congress purposely refuses to get it.

"At Duke University in North Carolina, where foreign nationals account for 60 percent of this year's master's class in engineering, Vivek Wadhwa is watching his students struggle to get jobs.
Some of them are getting employment offers withdrawn, while others are frustrated and ready to move back home. Wadhwa says it's the result of xenophobic messages coming out of Washington. The culprit is a law passed by Congress in February. It forces banks that receive federal bailout money to hire American citizens over foreign guest workers.
Two months later, its reverberations are being felt across the country, particularly on college campuses. The effect could be most acute in states such as California and New Jersey, national leaders in immigrant-founded engineering and technology businesses. In California, foreign nationals helped create more than half of the start-up companies in the Silicon Valley, according to a Duke University study. And in 2007, foreign nationals accounted for nearly two-thirds of all engineering doctorates awarded from the University of California and California State University, the study found."

Americans do not object to the immigration of foreign born doctors and nurses and biochemical engineers and others with post graduate skills and training, who are assimilated and educated and will be pay more in taxes than they ever take away in social benefits.

What people object to are unskilled, uneducated, undocumented immigrants who take away blue collar jobs from our own working class, depress area wages, and tend to be a drain on our social services.

Nonetheless, Congress decided to deport foreign born engineers (after we've paid to educate them in our state universities), while allowing their untrained undocumented cousins to sneak over the border, work off the books without paying taxes, and apply for government assistance and free medical care (unavailable to U.S. citizens).

Let's be clear. Most Americans have no objection to the foreign born doctor or nurse working in the emergency room. We have an objection to the foreign born undocumented worker receiving free medical care in the emergency room.

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