“A mere 65,000 H-1B visas for foreign professionals are allocated in the U.S. each year. And this year, as in the previous four, the quota was exhausted almost as soon as the applications became available in April. This effectively means that more than half of all foreign nationals who earned advanced degrees in math and science in 2007 have been shut out of the U.S. job market. It makes little sense for our universities to be educating talented foreign students, only to send them packing after graduation. Current policies have MIT and Stanford educating the next generation of innovators — and then deporting them to create wealth elsewhere.” –American Brain Drain
Archive for the 'Immigration' Category
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Historian Victor Davis Hanson makes an interesting comment:
One final thought here. Why would deported illegal alien and activist Elvira Arellano, who according to the LA Times, “symbolized inhumane treatment of migrants to some,” wish to return to the US?
News reports suggested she does in petitioning the Mexican government for a diplomatic visa. Surely she might prefer either to bring her children to Mexico, or file citizenship papers to become an American. My sense is that she desperately wants to stay in the US and not Mexico and the reasons are more than just economics.
In my own observations, why do Mexicans come to El Norte? Not as said just for the money. Much of it is dignity. Despite the slurs, the US, especially its popular culture, treats aliens far better than does the Mexican government its own.
How? At our own government offices, clerks are respectful regardless of status. The average American doesn’t much care about class or diction. There is a meritocracy here absent in Mexico. But most importantly things work. In Mexico, the conditions of daily power, water, sewer, etc make life hard, and the future bleak. Police here often can’t ask the immigration status of those detained, in Mexico the arrested must pay bribes or face worse. So there is a sort of Orwellian doublespeak here, reminiscent of the Middle East: a desire to be a part of America, and when that proves impossible or difficult, then abstract furor or tantrums at the idea and policy of the United States—suggesting the root cause is desire for an alien culture, heightened by feelings of want, envy, jealousy, rejections, and feelings of inadequacy, all masked by chauvinism and ethnic triumphalism.
The full post can be found here.
“One particular consideration I think is underdiscussed is the fact that much of the labor illegal immigrants provide substitutes for women’s home labor. And I don’t just mean nannies for rich women. I mean cleaning services, and food processing, and dry cleaning, and grocery delivery, and all the other things that make it possible for large numbers of women to work outside the home. In an ideal world, of course, women and men would take equal responsibility for the household. But in the less than ideal world that we actually inhabit, an increase in the price of those services would probably mean that fewer women would find it cost-effective to work outside the home”. –Megan McArdle blogging in The Atlantic
“The principal way rich countries disadvantage the poor world is not through unfair trade, or through intrusive and ineffective aid, or by forcing repayments of debts. The primary policy pursued by every rich country is to prevent unskilled labor from moving into their countries. And because unskilled labor is the primary asset of the poor world, it is hard to even imagine a policy more directly inimical to a poverty reduction agenda or to “pro-poor growth” than one limiting the demand for unskilled labor (and inducing labor-saving innovations).” — Lant Pritchett, writing in EconLog with commentary by Arnold Kling here
“Language is the keystone to politics. This past week I gave some lectures about illegal immigration. I noticed how the supporters of open borders so often prefer to demonize their opponents as “anti-immigrant”, hoping to reframe the debate into Americans’ supposed animosity against individual arrivals, legal and illegal. And why not when a rational defense of illegal immigration is indefensible? “Undocumented worker” is another favorite. But with 25% of all illegal alien households on entitlements in California, it is hard to think that all aliens are working or simply forgot their documents at the border. “The borders crossed us” is yet another deliberate misnomer, when the vast majority of Mexicans and Mexican-American in the United States cannot trace their family lineage in America past three generations. You get the picture: when an argument is indefensible then language is contorted to do what reason cannot”. –Victor Davis Hanson
“Open immigration to America worked well during the 19th century because the government did very little for immigrants and their families. How immigrants voted after becoming citizens also mattered little because government decisions were not so important. With the growth of government during the past half century, neither of these conditions continues to hold, so the case for open immigration is fatally weakened”. –Gary Becker, Nobel laureate in Economics, writing in the Becker-Posner blog on immigration
Everytime I hear the news that Bush signed the U.S.-Mexico Border Fence Bill, I think of two things, one is this picture below:
…and the second thing is, immigration marches made this more likely, they woke up the wrong sleeping giant.
“The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 3.6 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 2.4 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point”. –George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson, economists in a study titled, Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
“Now, let me zero in on #3. Because I think that health care is a major, major portion of why we spend so much time complaining about not being that much better off than we were in the 1970s. Contra “99″, health insurance hasn’t declined dramatically since 1973. Since 1987–the earliest year for which I could quickly lay my hands on census data–the number of uninsured Americans has skyrocketed from 12.9% to 15.9%. If we look only at native-born Americans, the numbers have been essentially unchanged since 1993 (again, the earliest census figures I could find). In 1993, 86.3% of native-born Americans had health insurance; in 2005 that figure was 86.6%. All of the increase in uninsured has come from immigrants . . . and I don’t think they’d be better off getting their health care back in Guatamala”. –Megan Mcardle, deputy countries editor of the Economist, writing in Asymmetrical Information
Stephen J. Trejo gave the final response on the Cato Unbound discussion Mexicans In America. I quote his article in full:
Given how hard it seems to forge a political consensus over what to do about Mexican immigration, I find some comfort in the indications that immigration flows from Mexico to the United States could decrease substantially in the not too distant future. Over the past half century, fertility rates in Mexico have declined sharply to less than a third of their initial levels, and these rates are expected to continue to fall until they reach replacement levels or below. At the same time, the rapid rise of average educational attainment and women’s labor force participation in Mexico suggest that the country is poised to make extensive economic and social advances. As the Mexican population becomes older and richer, the pressure for immigration to the United States will diminish, and the best available projections have immigration flows from Mexico starting to decline in the very near future. In this sense, the “problem” of Mexican immigration may ease on its own. Of course, even if this happens, there remains the important issue of how to facilitate integration for the millions of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants already in the United States, but reduced inflows of new immigrants would certainly help this process along.
The article can be found here.
Continuing the discussion at Cato Unbound on Mexicans In America, Douglas S. Massey responded to Victor Davis Hanson article. Here is a teaser of what he wrote,
It is clear to me that repressive immigration policies toward Mexico have failed at great cost to taxpayers and that a different approach is called for. I believe that the United States should treat Mexico in much the same way that Western Europe treated Spain and Portugal when they were brought into the European Union, and the way that Western Europe is now treating Poland and other nations in Eastern Europe. If we worked with Mexico to improve its markets for capital, credit, and insurance and raise the level of its infrastructure, we would eliminate the economic incentives that now drive migration within the decade. And in the short term, if we were to offer temporary worker visas to Mexicans, many of those now in the country would ultimately return home. For those who are too deeply enmeshed in the United States to return at this point, a legalization program is the only humane alternative. People who entered the country as minors should be given blanket amnesty as long as they have no criminal record, for they are guilty of nothing more than obeying their parents. For the remainder, they should be given provisional legalization, and a path to legal permanent residence should be established to allow them to adjust status through the accumulation of credits for paying taxes, learning English, staying employed, having US-born children, and generally staying out of trouble.
If we did these things, I believe everyone would be better off—Mexicans in Mexico, Americans here, and the migrants themselves. If we bring migrants above ground, charge fees for temporary labor visas, and collect taxes from all migrants, it would be possible to create a pool of money to offset the very real costs of immigration to state and local governments, mainly for heath care and education. American workers would also benefit by competing against workers with full labor rights rather than comepeting against an exploitable underground pool, especially if the measures I propose were to be accompanied by a simple employment verification program required of all employers to confirm the right to work.
Continuing the discussion at Cato Unbound on Mexicans In America, Stephen J. Trejo responded to Victor Davis Hanson article on August 27th. Here is a teaser of what he wrote,
Border enforcement cannot be the primary answer. In recent years, we have dramatically increased expenditures on manpower and technology aimed at stopping illegal border crossing, with minimal results (and, as Massey points out, often counterproductive ones). If we continue trying to control illegal immigration in this fashion, we will spend huge sums of money to little effect.
Given that most illegal immigrants come to the United States to work, why don’t we get serious about workplace enforcement? Retail stores are able to verify in a matter of seconds consumer credit cards used to make purchases. Why couldn’t a similar system be put in place to verify the Social Security numbers of employees before they are hired? Many European countries have systems like this in place. Why don’t we try out something like that? Are Americans really that opposed to national identification cards? I realize that, in many ways, the immigration situation in Europe is different from that in the United States. I also realize that an electronic verification system would miss immigrants employed in the underground economy. But I suspect that we could do much more to control illegal immigration by directing technology and other enforcement resources toward the workplace rather than toward our porous southern border.
The full article can be found here.
Victor Davis Hanson continues to contribute his part in the discussion over at Cato Unbound on the topic of Mexicans in America, here is a teaser of what he wrote:
I think anyone who has grown up in largely Mexican communities composed of illegal aliens realizes that when immigrants are assimilated, not found in non-integrated enclaves, and living alongside other Americans of differing races, religions, and ethic backgrounds, their eventual pattern of Americanization in fact does resemble those of 19th-century Italians. However, when we witness de facto apartheid communities of largely Spanish-speaking, poorly educated immigrants who are without legality, then their record of success, and their childrens’, is a very different matter altogether. We are seeing both patterns of success and failure, but when the pool of 11 million is so large, we can be 70% successful and still have considerable problems with millions of illegal aliens.
That the worry over illegal immigration resonates broadly with Democrats and Republicans of the Southwest, both supporters and opponents of Mr. Bush, black, white, and Mexican-American, of all religions, should suggest that it cannot be simply written off to some emotional or unhinged cadre of Americans.
Douglas S. Massey continues the discussion over at Cato Unbound on the topic of Mexicans in America, here is a teaser of what he wrote:
Emotional displacement, ethnic scare-mongering, and the scapegoating of immigrants are nothing new in American history. But they don’t solve our problems, and in the case of Mexican immigration they make them worse. Our immigration and border policies with respect to Mexico may have served the political purpose of diverting attention away from other pressing issues and giving citizens a concrete focus for their fears and insecurities, but they have completely backfired in their efforts to reduce migration to the United States. In my research I have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the militarization of the border did not lower the rate of in-migration so much as reduce the rate of return migration, and that it is the growing imbalance between rates of in- and out-migration that is causing the unprecedented growth of the Mexican population within the United States and costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
The full article can be found here.
“Again, I do not see the need to conceptualize illegal immigration in terms of the Iraqi war, or the purported unfairness of the American system—not so apparent to much of the world, since the United States accepts more legal immigrants than almost all other nations combined. Most students of the issue accept that the present non-system must change. Compromise is possible that envisions a sort of earned citizenship for most of those here illegally, who should not be deported en masse, with the understanding that the border will close to those who in the future attempt to cross illegally”. –Victor Davis Hanson, contributing to the discussion at Cato Unbound on Mexicans In America
“In this context, it is encouraging to note that intermarriage is widespread among Mexican Americans. More than a third of married, U.S.-born Mexicans have non-Mexican spouses, with the overwhelming majority of these non-Mexican spouses being U.S.-born, non-Hispanic whites. Because it takes two Mexican-origin spouses to create an endogamous Mexican marriage, whereas a Mexican intermarriage requires only one Mexican-origin spouse, the observed rate of intermarriage implies that almost half of Mexican-American marriages involve a non-Mexican spouse”. –Stephen J. Trejo, associate professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin and a research fellow at the IZA Institute for the Study of Labor