Educated Immigrants Driving Innovation And Creating New Jobs

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

We've talked a great deal about why getting more educated immigrants into the US is a good idea. For some reason, way too many people assume that the job market is a zero-sum game, and that if a foreign person gets a job that somehow means one less job for an American. However, that doesn't appear to be the case. If that foreigner is helping to grow the market, it can often lead to a lot more demand. That's why it was good to see Congress at least appear willing to let in more skilled foreigners, especially in the area of high tech jobs. A recent Kauffman Foundation study supports this, by looking at foreign-born entrepreneurs, and noting that many of them came to the US as highly skilled, highly educated individuals in need of a job -- but later decided to start their own companies. In other words, they ended up creating many more jobs, rather than "taking jobs away." Yet, for some reason, many anti-immigration people would rather these individuals create those jobs in foreign countries and help those economies rather than our own.


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  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 6:19pm

    Are they here to help us?

    Why assume these highly skilled immigrants are here to cheer on the USA, though? They are here to promote the interests of their own kind, constantly lecturing Americans about how their country is "better" than ours. When they get bored of us, they will move back to their own countries and take their money with them.

     

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  2.  
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    Rick Taylor, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 6:50pm

    You're right.

    You are completely right. We could educate Americans. We could pay them the wages they are worth rather than artificially lowering their value in the market by outsourcing their work to other countries where you can pay your labor an annual salary about the price of a month's car payment for the American employee and by bringing in workers from outside the country

    Or... we could pretend that the problem is NOT an issue of paying American workers a competitive wage as dictated by the market demands and that it's actually somehow that there's a lack of skilled and intelligent Americans. That way we can justify importing all the cheap(er) labor we could possibly desire.

    And then that new labor force is going to need someone to park their car. To press their suits. To make their hamburgers and coffee. To landscape their homes. You're completely right. It's SO BRILLIANT! We can import people from other countries to do our higher class and higher paying work and relegate our native citizens to low paying service-sector jobs. Americans still get some sort of jobs - even if it's low-wage toilet cleaning and CEOs and corporate America gets to continue in America while poaching labor from around the globe. Who cares that I can't make the local dairy farmer compete with some guy in India on the price of milk, but my employer can make me compete with some guy across the globe who can live for a week on what I pay for one day of gas to and from the office?

     

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  3.  
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    Yep., Jun 21st, 2007 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Are they here to help us?

    In my experience, Pakistani management prefers to hire Pakistani employees. Indian management prefers to hire Indian employees. Korean management prefers to hire Korean employees.

    If corporate America isn't hiring American workers, what makes you think that imported workers who start their own companies are going to hire American workers?

    I wouldn't be surprised if this "research" was done by a company that somehow benefits by the continuation of corporate exploitation of H1B-style workforces.

    I'm an American. Why am I competing with someone in a country where most people ride donkeys to work for a job with an American country? I have nothing against non-American workers, but it is inherently unfair that employers and corporate American can pick from a global pool of the most manipulatable and cheapest workforces while American employees are subject to American prices, American costs of living, American costs of education and American corporations.

     

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  4.  
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    dorpus, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:05pm

    Yeah, these guys need jobs.

    Millions of these college graduates will need jobs when their 3 years are up. Does the US want to give them a free ride?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kMBjq2EQBE

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:13pm

    Cry more. Its not going to stop if we close the borders and stick our head in the sand. We will just end up years behind with a shrinking economy. Globalization is real and is going to happen with or without us. Eventually other countries will catch up with us and those jobs will return.

     

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  6.  
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    dorpus, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    Why are you assuming that immigrant labor is going to expand our economy, or somehow cause us to "stay ahead"? Is it not immigrants who send money and know-how back to their countries, causing our economy to shrink? Do immigrants not bring their practices of slavery, sexism, and poor hygiene with them, causing us to go backwards for years in social development? Immigrants bring their higher infant mortality rates, shorter life spans, violent lifestyles, their ethnic warfare baggage, making us look bad.

     

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  7.  
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    happymellon, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:27pm

    Let me get this right? People are bitter because there are some really hard working people out there and companies want to hire them, but that would mean not hiring them. And instead of getting more technically competent they want to stick up artificial barriers?

    When there are reports like:

    Literacy of Graduates on the Decline

    Students taking Computer Science on the Decline

    Arguments on Techdirt about IT workers who spout nonsense

    Are you REALLY surprised that the idea of the American IT Professional is on the decline? There is a perception issue, and all the interns we bring in and I have to lead, who are American students, I wouldn't hire a single one of them. They show a distinct lack of interest, and I can barely get them to do anything. Compare to the foreign employees who work themselves to the bone, take an interest in what they do, heck, they can even document in English better than most of the new American employees. First get the education system in order, then attack the bad perception issue. But until you do either (preferably both), of course they don't want to employ Americans.

    (And yes I could have given more links to back me up, but I thought I gave the general idea)

     

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  8.  
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    GoblinJuice, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    The "anti-immigration people" are usually talking about Mexicans and people from South of the US. They are NOT talking about some Indian (dot, not feather) dude coming here and starting a dot-com. :-)

    Seriously, the immigration issue is complex - you can't say group X dislikes "all" immigrants.

    For example: I think we have enough male immigrants, we NEED more female immigrants! Early to mid 20s, hot in the geekgrrl kinda way, um... race isn't an issue... must like pale dudes. :-)

     

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  9.  
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    happymellon, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    Oh and "We could pay them the wages they are worth rather than artificially lowering their value in the market by outsourcing their work to other countries where you can pay your labor an annual salary about the price of a month's car payment for the American employee and by bringing in workers from outside the country" made me chuckle.
    When your work become generic, you get paid less. Thats life. Your not elite. You not special. There are a million people out there who could do your job and are unemployed. Unless you make yourself special in some way, your job is gone.
    Your becoming no more skilled than a call center agent, and you don't have prejudices against your accent to help protect your job.
    Don't just stay as a code monkey. Don't stay as some generic Windows Admin. Do something special, if you make yourself special you will be paid your worth.

     

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  10.  
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    Steven Ashley, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:39pm

    Educated Immigrants

    If the U.S. needs to bring in educated immigrants, let's do it the right way, make them real citizens, not indentured servants that the H1B program creates, which ties its participants to a single employer.

    If you need immigrants increase the number that can legally immigrate to an yearly adjusted number, and take all of the people on the waiting list before allowing the illegals in.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:40pm

    Re:

    HAHAHAHA "Do something special, if you make yourself special you will be paid your worth"...that like f***ing kills me!

    My company has been through this "offshoring" tripe 3 times...They get 5 of them for 1 of us, end of story. Fire 5 of us, hire 10 of them, recover 3 salaries and yet double the work gets done right? Yeah, right as if. Every time within 3 months it is screwed up and comes back...moral of the story: pretend to offshore, jettison high paid employees, bring back onshore, hire new employess at a lower pay rate, save the company money, give the execs bonuses!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:05pm

    All about the benjamins

    I know its important for a company to have the most skilled employees it can. But at the same time they want to do it as cheaply as possible. So even if American employees stepped up their game the American corporations will still go with the foreign employees that will work for the cheaper rates. Thing is American employees can't afford for the most part to live off the same low wages that foreigners can due to differences in cost of living.

    And I also have to agree with comment #11. What really burns me is all the money that the corporations are saving is not going back into the company and it sure as hell isn't going into the pockets of the lower level employees. It's going into some exec's pocket.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Sal, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:20pm

    HIGH Skilled Workers???

    Why is it that despite H1-B Visas supposedly being designed for so-called jobs that cannot be filled by adequately educated Americans, something like 75% (according to Lou Dobbs, and I apologize if I got the number off a little) are issued to LOW skilled workers?

     

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  14.  
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    dorpus, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:36pm

    Re:

    Let me get this right? People are bitter because there are some really hard working people out there and companies want to hire them, but that would mean not hiring them. And instead of getting more technically competent they want to stick up artificial barriers?

    So where are these competent foreign workers? All the ones I've ever met, and I've met thousands, had zero communication skills, zero social skills, blowing their bad breath at people and yelling in foreign languages. A white-collar worker who cannot communicate his or her ideas is useless -- they are just adding chaos to the office without accomplishing anything. The real reason they are hired is that incompetent executives do not really want good workers -- the kind who might be a threat to their bosses' jobs.

     

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  15.  
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    Overcast, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:45pm

    Naaa, people just assume that many are opposed to immigration because it's 'taking our jobs'.

    It's not that for many of us - it's the fact that we need more security and need immigrants to stick to the laws. Else, we get things like E-coli outbreaks in our food supply, skyrocketing disease rates, hard to kill strains of TB...

    There's a Russian girl I work with, who I have actually seen on the point of tears - because, she's trying to immigrate LEGALLY and it's such a mess of red tape, it's damn near impossible. All the while, many just walk across the border and leech on the healtcare system.

    It's a lot more than just 'taking our jobs'. I'm not worried about that, afterall - more workers = more consumers.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    mkam, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re:

    "So where are these competent foreign workers?" I have a friend who just got a masters degree in EE. He is from Sweden. He was desperately looking for a job in America so that he could stay. He has 1 more year to get a H1-B or the country will make him leave. He is currently making almost what I am in DC. So yea there are plenty of really skilled employee that the USA should be actively recruiting to stay. Have you been to grad school and seen the proportion of foreign vs domestic students? Why should we train these people (the best in their respective countries) and then force them out?

     

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  17.  
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    Indian, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re:

    You are so informed and have intelligent response! No wonder you are losing your jobs.

     

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  18.  
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    Team Tutorials, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 5:23am

    Techdirt

    Is this site run by immigrants?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    joesmilee, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 6:07am

    Re: Are they here to help us.

    All of this is BS........

    First of all uneployment is VERY LOW, which translates to several things one being there are not enough americans to employ, therefore we MUST bring in assistance.

    As far as hiring, it depends on what market you are in. AS an American I am proud of our country and MOST of our people. But we have created a monster in the LAZY department at all levels and accross all verticals. I would not know where to begin to evaluate this problem in an effort to resolve it, its too big for me and I work.

    What I can do is help those who are uneployed find work - if they are willing to work, which in most cases they have unrealistic expecations regarding thier ability to do a job.

    Immigrant owned firms also have the issue of not enough people to fill jobs. And they do hire americans. I can think of thousands of examples from Resturants, Gas stations, LAbor firms, trade firms, high tech firms ETC ETC ETC.

    Lastly, we do have an educaiton problem in this country. Too many people rely on our press and entertainment industry for facts and not enough people are going the extra mile to learn about history... this is important as History repeats itself. Not to mention higher education as a whole. I wish our people "TRUE AMERICANS", would begin to address our issues based on complexity, and begin to formulate real plans to solve them. START WITH OUR EXPECTATIONS OF OUR CHILDREN. YOUR CHILDREN. Be a good parent - may be that should be the next Government initiative... How to be a good parent act.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I have a friend who just got a masters degree in EE. He is from Sweden. He was desperately looking for a job in America so that he could stay. He has 1 more year to get a H1-B or the country will make him leave. He is currently making almost what I am in DC. So yea there are plenty of really skilled employee that the USA should be actively recruiting to stay. Have you been to grad school and seen the proportion of foreign vs domestic students? Why should we train these people (the best in their respective countries) and then force them out?

    I AM in grad school, getting a PhD. The majority of foreign students have no intention of staying here anyway -- they are heading straight back home where their loyalty lies. They just came here to get "international credentials" that will help their careers back home; otherwise, their English is terrible and they have no American friends. I don't know why we are sacrificing slots for American students just so these guys can get their prestigious degrees.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Semicharm, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:10am

    Not enough skilled american labor?

    That's seems to be the rallying cry of these corporations, "not enough skilled American labor". If there is such a shortage, then how about educating more Americans to fill the gap? What I've seen is just the opposite, people and government reps slash education spending while higher education seems to be more concerned with lofty idealism then preparing their grads for the real world.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Captain Planet, Jun 24th, 2007 @ 4:30am

    NAFTA ...Sucked
    Immigrants...Waste Tax payers dollers to come into the country and leave after several years, or Bring / Start families here costing many more tax payers dollers. They get Healthcare benefits, paid schooling ect ect; When its hard for someone working 10+ years to collect unemployment or file to receive any kind of help being a US citizin since birth for over 40 years, while a Foreigner can get free money for just about anything, I think something is wrong. Maybe the US should start worrying about it self more than other countries.
    American Industry- Labor to expensive because of many US restrictions and safty regulations and rules, causing the export of work outside the US. When work leaves the US so do the workers...when workers leave the US, so does the money. When the money leaves the Companys leave. Foods that use surgar usually are now produced outside the US and Distributed by US companies. Same thing with computer chips. Look at mircosoft an american company, finally feeling the blows of foreign countries; Selling pirated versions of "Vista" for 2$ on streetcorners. Or steel manufacters in the US , its so cheap that we barely have a made in USA peice of steel anymore. What happened to american made cars? Now theyre produced in foreign countries and Distributed here. We have turned into a Luxury state, Not a country, We buy more than we export, and since more money keeps leaving the US, I could see a collapse of the economy before world Globalization. We show everyone what to do they watch us, learn it, then move on, then we move on showing someone else something differnt, Until were not special at anything anymore, the only thing we can do they cant is to teach, Exactly why people come to this country to learn. Schools, Economy, Immigrants, Goverment funding are all jacked up. Americans themselves are leaving the country because of too many Foreigners. If we help everyone else to catch up, we will fall behind, and then we will need the help, and they will say no, Its happened before. Look at most of our wars, alot of them over technology, and after these wars we were in debt, to nations who bailed us out.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Captain Planet, Jun 24th, 2007 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re: by Indian

    Say that again in english please, but say that to your boss.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Marc Schluper, Jun 25th, 2007 @ 9:55pm

    Compete and grow, or die

    Why is it that American engineers complain about foreigners entering the job market while they don't complain about foreign sportsmen being hired by American sport teams? To me it seems in the best interest of everyone that there is competition. If American engineers want higher paid jobs, they just have to work a bit harder. Go to .NET user groups in the San Francisco Bay area, or to Microsoft seminars in MountainView and you see more than 70% Asians in the audience. Where are the American engineers in the evening hours? Excellence is always rewarded.

    I agree with Anonymous Coward (5) that it is happening anyway. Either foreigners come here and compete with us here or American companies move operations (partly) abroad. Either way, competition is open. We grow or die, and it's our choice.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Md.sahanawaz, Jul 2nd, 2007 @ 12:28am

    Job

    Hi!
    i am sahanawaz living in india(kolkata).i want to job in a foregen country, so please if any chances for me regarding the job then please contact me on this email, md.sahanawaz@gmail.com. i am working as customer engg on the computer( networking and hardware).

    sir, if you will contact me then i will sending my details which is job oriented.

    your faithfully

    Md. sahanawaz

     

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