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What's So Great About Skilled Immigration When U.S. Grads Can't Find Jobs?
Eventually, the facts get so compelling that even the Lamestream Media finds itself reporting them.
Perfect example: last week's Page One left column story in the Washington Post headlined "Foreign labor's skill level on rise–Better-educated immigrant workforce shows economic shift". [VDARE.com note: the web version is called Report documents dramatic shift in immigrant workforce's skill level, By Tara Bahrampour, June 9, 2011, and contains a few hyperlinks, almost as if the Post was trying to catch up to what VDARE.com has been doing for ten years; but not, oddly enough, a link to, or citation for, the actual Brookings report The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas.]
The WaPo story began:
"Highly skilled temporary and permanent immigrants in the United States now outnumber lower-skilled ones, marking a dramatic shift in the foreign-born workforce that could have profound political and economic implications in the national debate over immigration.
"This shift in America's immigration population, based on census data, is summarized in a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution. It found that 30 percent of the country's working-age immigrants, regardless of legal status, have at least a bachelor's degree, while 28 percent lack a high school diploma. The shift had been in the works for the past three decades, a period that has seen a dramatic increase in the population born outside the United States. But in 2007 the percentage of highly skilled workers overtook that of lower-skilled workers. The trend reflects a fundamental change in the structure and demands of the U.S. economy, which in the past decades transformed from an economy driven by manufacturing to one driven by information and technology. The report also offers a new perspective on the national immigration discourse, which tends to fixate on low-skilled, and often illegal, workers.
"'Too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences,' said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, an immigrant advocacy organization.
"'The debate has been stuck in the idea that it's all about illegal and low-skilled workers.'" [Links in blockquotes in original]
Fortunately, the story quoted someone who could finger the facts:
for Immigration Studies, an organization that advocates for tighter immigration restrictions, said the report raises other concerns. 'It seems, based on this and other studies, that we've got an oversupply of highly skilled workers coming into this country,' he said, adding that the study's findings were not surprising. 'New college graduates are faring very poorly on the labor market, and what the report is telling us is that we're bringing in a high number of workers to compete with them.'
But with the Administration bleating about its concern over jobs, and when last week's jobs report of new hires were merely 54,000 with half coming from McDonald's-type posts, too many immigrants of whatever classification are still too many! (In fact, the study also found that "half of highly skilled immigrants in the United States are working in jobs for which they are overqualified.")
With official unemployment at over 9% and real unemployment likely over 15%, the importation of almost two million legal and illegal immigrants per year boggles my mind. It must seem crazy to our citizens if they truly realized what was happening.
And, despite the MSM, many of them do. Their kids can't get summer jobs, an increasing number of American high school and college and advanced degree graduates are having a hard time getting employed, and the people who are employed are not in a position to bargain for appropriately higher wages, since they live in fear of being let go.
Silicon Valley billionaires constantly urge us to approve more H 1-B visas. Maybe, if there were more selectivity in the process, some agreement could be reached. Maybe we who advocate fewer immigrants of every variety could have a serious pow-wow with them about keeping some good foreign grads here.
But right now there is a surfeit of those grads and that number needs to decrease. (I realize my hope for such a deal is naive.)
Bottom line: Overall, the U.S. needs to reduce its immigrant intake drastically. At almost two million per year, it is now so far above the 300,000 that the Federation for American Immigration Reform and others argue is a proper goal.
The latest Post piece at least reported the distressing facts about too many coming here, even if it tried to put lipstick on the immigration pig.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.