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
    jonnyq, 28 Feb 2008 @ 11:57am

    Thesis sentence

    "It's amazing how short-sighted some people can be on the immigration question."

    I agree with the entire post, except that I don't know where this sentence came from.

    Do you have an example of people being short-sighted on "the immigration question"?

    Our real problem I know of with immigrant workers is illegal immigrants. I could care less what legal immigrants are doing. Illegal immigrants will take jobs without paying taxes and sometimes not even being paid minimum wage - skewing competition in the legal job market. Also illegal immigrants often come alone to work and send money back home to their families, draining that money from the economy.

    This post is about the employment of legal immigrants. I don't see the problem, and if there is an "other side" to this particular issue, it's not pointed out above or in the linked articke.

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