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Reforming Legal Immigration


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reforming-legal-immigration-mark-krikorianNational Review:


Jennifer Wedel (an “avid Republican”!) got the drop on President Obama the other day by asking him why, with so many American engineers like her husband unemployed, he wants to import even more engineers from abroad. Obama responded that industry tells him there’s a “huge demand” for engineers around the country, and that she should send her husband’s résumé to the White House.

The Republican National Committee has leapt at the opportunity, launching a site called Not Better Off, highlighting the weak job market during the president’s tenure and urging people to send him their résumés.


It’s a nimble political response, but there’s one problem: The Republicans also want to import cheap foreign labor for tech companies. The Bloomberg/Murdoch group Partnership for a New American Economy (a/k/a “Billionaires for Open Borders”) ran an ad in South Carolina showing that every GOP presidential candidate wants increases in “skilled” immigration, concluding that “there’s really no debate . . . America needs high-skilled immigrants to create new jobs and grow our economy.”

Actually, there is debate. And the crux of the debate is the question, how skilled is “high-skilled”? Where do we draw the line? At a bachelor’s degree in a “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field? Master’s? Ph.D.?

The discussion has focused on this because the tech industry has shifted some of its lobbying money from the customary push for increases in the H-1B visa (ostensibly a program to import temporary labor) to new proposals to automatically give a permanent green card to any foreign student receiving a degree in the U.S. in a technical field. This is commonly referred to as the “staple a green card to the diploma” approach, and is found in a number of bills or proposals, such as the “Staple Act” and the “Brain Act.” The issue being considered by lawmakers, then, is which diplomas to staple green cards to.Scissors-32x32.png

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