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
    Iron Chef, 28 Feb 2008 @ 7:10am

    Re: Zero Sum Game (#1)

    Some time ago, I commented on this, and some other peculariarities of the H1B Visa program. I would think it makes sense to offer these folks and their immediate family, who are documented, and here legally, a path to citezenship that is easier than others.

    I agree with Anon above. As it stands today, I believe the H1B Visa Program doesn't properly facilitate conversion to citizenship, nor does it properly capture the skillsets which they are here performing or use that information to grow our the US economy.

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20071217/113046#c589

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