Isn't It Better To Keep Smart Foreign Workers In The US Than Sending Them Home To Compete?

from the just-wondering dept

It's amazing how short-sighted some people can be on the immigration question. Rep. Zoe Lofgren has a wonderful idea, suggesting that we make it much easier for skilled foreign workers to establish residency if they get a job in the US. It's difficult to see why anyone would oppose this. Keeping those workers in the US, working for US companies, means that they're contributing to the American economy. Sending them home only lets them compete against us, potentially harming the American economy. The argument most often brought up against such proposals, that it hurts American jobs, is easily shown to be false. It's based on the incorrect assumption that jobs are a zero-sum game, and if a foreign-born worker takes a job, it means one fewer job for an American-born worker. Yet, if that foreign worker goes back to his home country and works for a company that takes down an American company, then we have a lot fewer jobs in the US, due to that worker going home. At the same time, if that foreign-born worker stays here, and while working for an American company, helps build up an industry, it will create many new jobs for both foreign and American-born workers.
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Filed Under: competition, immigration, us, zoe lofgren


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  1. identicon
    Depressed Developer, 28 Feb 2008 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Right and Wrong

    Again, true and false. I've seen the same pattern at a lot of companies over the last 20 years. I used to be a consultant so I went to a lot of places in a lot of industries. That's also the reason I've got resumes out. :p

    At the same time, if H1B visas didn't allow the companies to treat the visa holders like slaves by exempting them from most labor laws and pay them substandard wages, it wouldn't be a problem.

    Again, the good people don't want to come over on an H1B, because, at least in the high tech field, they know how they'll be treated. The ex I referred to said in the medical research field it is much better as the H1B visa is generally only used because it is the only way to get the people over here. (That is, unlike my current company, the research labs use it to bring over good people and treat them better than the law requires.)

    And remember, at the same time, we are keeping out and making ineligible people who are good but want to be treated better.

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