Hat-tip to Gordo: Democrats and moderate Republicans want to draft a new immigration bill that will give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and defund the proposed fence along the US-Mexico border.
The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the U.S. to become eligible to apply for citizenship. The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico that was authorized in a law, written by Republicans, which passed this year.
The greatest irony here is that since illegal immigration is a race issue important to many Hispanic voters, while legal immigration is mostly seen as a denial of the upper middle class’s inalienable right to employment, it’ll be easier to get citizenship as an illegal than as a legal immigrant.
Right now, a legal immigrant to the US typically starts as a college student, then gets a graduate or professional degree, and then gets an H1-B visa, from which position he can apply for a green card. Lately the green card application backlog is so long that some people have to leave the US for a while since H1-B visas only last for 6 years after renewal. In other words, a legal immigrant takes about 15 years just to get a green card.
Unfortunately, legal immigrants don’t have a powerful lobby. On the contrary, disgruntled American computer programmers have a vested interest in keeping legal immigrants out. This despite the fact that evidence from Canada, which has a somewhat saner immigration policy, suggests that the group that integrates the most slowly is refugees, while economic immigrants integrate quickly.
I would argue that the computer programmers have an interest in legal immigration. Without it, a shortage of programmers would lead to more job outsourcing, as well as less economic growth. White collar workers in particular benefit from immigration.
Hopefully, much of the hysteria over illegal immigration will die down, now that the GOP realizes how much the issue is hurting them. Then we can work on getting rid of some of the more nonsensical restrictions on educated immigrants.
Honestly, I don’t understand how any patriotic American could oppose immigration by people who are better educated than most Americans. We should pay college-educated people to immigrate, to help make up for the way we’ve neglected our own schools.
American computer programmers have an egregious entitlement mentality, thinking that high-paying software engineering jobs right out of college are some kind of birthright. Honestly, I could care less. The sorry state of software engineering nowadays has gotten so bad that many graduate from their CS/CEE majors without knowing ASM from their assholes, and many take faster processors as a license to write flat-out shitty software. Americans seem to have a hard time coming to terms with the possibility that their under-performance may be what is causing them to lose their competitive edge, so naturally they blame the foreigners.
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