The Future of America

Those of us who are immigrants to this country, know how frustrating the experience can be. The system is filled with well-intentioned people but it still doesn’t seem to work well, whether because of misinformation, prejudice or politics, either way it is broken.

Google has posted a VERY interesting item on their official blog entitled, “What U.S. Immigration policies mean to Google.”

The item focuses on skill-based immigrants, like me, who are faced with antiquated quotas that don’t gel with this nation’s need for highly-skilled workers. The post by Google Policy Counsel, Pablo Chavez, writes:

Immigrants from countries like Canada, Iran, and Switzerland now lead our business operations, global marketing, global business development, and data infrastructure operations. Without these talented employees and many others, Google would not be where it is today.

Good for Google! I’m proud that one of my favorite company is using their heft to facilitate some positive changes in U.S. immigration policy.

Strangely, this debate has been very heated on the right side of the political spectrum but not the left, I’m assuming because most on the left are in favor of a more lenient immigration policy.

Anyway, those that may not know what some of the worst case scenarios can be for skill-based immigrants, check out Patrick J. Buchanan’s site (I can’t believe I’m pointing to Pat Buchanan, but there’s a first time for everything!).

{hat tip to V for the original item}

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8 responses to “The Future of America

  1. It is curious that you label this post as “human rights”; does this mean you think it is some sort of basic ‘human right’ to be able to live in the US? Apparently, what you mean by ‘not working very well’ is that almost any alien who has a desire cannot emigrate to the US easily. Maybe you can see that, not unreasonably, many Americans don’t see it that way. Clearly, the US is more than just a place to work — it is our home, a nation with a cultural and demographic heritage that some of us see as worth preserving. To accomplish that, immigration has to be limited and controlled. Regarding GOOG, you forgot to mention their financial motive — that it is in their interest to widen the pool of potential employees as much as possible. This will certainly help keep wages low. So perhaps you ought to add and file this under another label — ‘corporate greed’ perhaps.

  2. “eh” above makes some good points about the motivation for companies like Google to push for an increase in the number of H1-B visas.

    The problem isn’t recruitment of highly skilled workers from Switzerland, Canada, Iran, etc. The primary issue that has recently been brought up is the importing of Indian workers on massive scales that have had mild training.

    These Indian companies are undercutting what American’s doing the same job can charge, and then delivering a sub-standard product.

    If anything, we should be limiting the number of H1-B visas per country and company, in addition to requiring companies to submit proof that the person being granted the visa is, in fact, highly skilled.

    The purpose of the program is to allow US companies to remain competitive if the US job pool is not sufficient for their needs. It is being misused.

  3. At the end of the day, immigrants are people and of all the H1-B applicants I’ve met, all have been interested in building a life and a home here, while contributing to this country.

    I’m trying to understand what “eh” means by “a nation with a cultural and demographic heritage” and by that I think race is being inferred. Regardless, I think the U.S. has a great opportunity to continue to be a beacon of hope to the world after years of chipping away at its image around the globe. Every major wave of immigrant to this nation shifted the “demographic heritage” of this country but the nation (culturally and otherwise) still survived and prospered.

    Perhaps I have more faith in the U.S. and its ability to adapt and develop than others do. I don’t think it is idealistic, since history has proven that adaptation is one of America’s greatest strengths.

  4. At the end of the day, immigrants are people and of all the H1-B applicants I’ve met, all have been interested in building a life and a home here, while contributing to this country.

    Basically, you mean they act in what they see as their own self interest by coming, or seeking to come, to the US. So regarding the “contribution” you say they want to make, let’s be honest here: they come here primarily to work and make money, right? Again: it is self-interest that motivates them. Which is understandable.

    Am I also allowed to act in what I see as my own self interest by promoting immigration restriction? For example, if I’m a high-tech worker who faces job competition from H-1B people, who are also a lever for age discrimination, a very real phenomenon that is grossly underreported by the media.

    Anyway, this is just an appeal to emotion. And a rather cliché one at that. But I am also a ‘person’, and am not unsympathetic. It’s just that there is a lot more at stake here than ‘feel-goodism’…

    Every major wave of immigrant to this nation shifted the “demographic heritage” of this country…

    Sorry, but this is false in a fundamental way. Before the 1965 change to immigration law, which did away with national origin quotas, about 90% of the US’s population was of white, European origin — mostly northern European. These people have a lot more in common with each other than they do with, say, Hispanics, Indians, or Chinese.

    I’m trying to understand what “eh” means by “a nation with a cultural and demographic heritage” and by that I think race is being inferred.

    I think it’s obvious what I mean, and race/ethnicity is part of it. The problem with immigration in the US today is this: it will make its traditional white population a minority by around 2050. Which is absurd. It is a form of national suicide. Because these people represent the demographic and cultural heritage of America, even though it is very politically incorrect (‘nativist’) to mention this.

    Regardless, I think the U.S. has a great opportunity to continue to be a beacon of hope to the world after years of chipping away at its image around the globe.

    How? By allowing any and every foreigner who so desires to come live here? That’s ridiculous. And illogical: I think the decline of the US’s image in the world that you allude to has a lot more to do with unwise foreign policy than how many immigrants are allowed to settle here, which is currently more than all other nations in the world combined, BTW.

    About the title of your post — “The Future of America”: some of us want the future to look a little more like the past than it now appears it will.

  5. For example, if I’m a high-tech worker who faces job competition from H-1B people, who are also a lever for age discrimination, a very real phenomenon that is grossly underreported by the media.

    I think it is constructive to have facts behind this claim, otherwise anecdotal facts aren’t going to be very useful.

    I think it’s obvious what I mean, and race/ethnicity is part of it. The problem with immigration in the US today is this: it will make its traditional white population a minority by around 2050. Which is absurd. It is a form of national suicide. Because these people represent the demographic and cultural heritage of America, even though it is very politically incorrect (’nativist’) to mention this.

    I think this is alarmist and based on a skewed understanding of race in America. Of course the first inhabitants were not “white,” a word you’ve been skirting around in your commentary, but native american. But as Michael Ignatieff proves in his book HOW THE IRISH BECAME WHITE (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Became-White-Noel-Ignatiev/dp/0415918251) that race has always been an artificial term that suits political purposes and not a real distinguishing factor of difference–other than the superficial kind. In the 20th century, many people didn’t consider southern Italians or Greeks white either, but slowly definitions changed because of political ambitions and racial fear.

    I don’t see the “browning” of America as a negative thing, but we are all free to disagree.

    “…some of us want the future to look a little more like the past than it now appears it will.”

    Looking to the past is doomed to fail, I suggest we all forge a future that is new and free of the baggage of the past.

  6. The problem with the “cultural diversity” of America is that it is constantly being challenged by foreigners. Southern Texas, Arizona, and Southern California have become Mexico with American laws.

    While I absolutely praise diversity and think that we should allow foreigners into America, it can NOT be in massive waves from a single country. As I mentioned above, we need limits per country.

    Honestly, I live in Tucson, AZ. The ratio of caucasians to mexicans is roughly 4/5 and it shows. We’re (those of us here legally) are now being forced to learn Spanish and take classes in marketing to Mexicans in order to land decent jobs. Crime has skyrocketed. A car accident could leave you without a car because some illegal doesn’t have insurance.

    The problem isn’t only with the illegals either. A lot of the Mexicans here legally immigrated or were born here. They too contribute to the problem. For whatever reason, these people refuse to realize they are in America and act accordingly. The culture of southern Arizona has shifted dramatically in the last 5 years and it feels more and more like Mexico everyday.

    Looking to the past is the only way we can learn from our mistakes and secure our future. Additionally, people refuse to change, whether it be eating more healthy to save their life or getting a job instead of selling crack on the corner.

    Let us hope your ignorance is not shared overwhelmingly among other people.

  7. This discussion has been interesting, thanks “eh” and “trucex” for partaking in this…but calling my opinion “ignorant” was below the belt, but such is the reality of the web and the heated opinions it generates.

  8. I’d like to chime in and thank Hrag for a thoughtful post and some extremely interesting perspectives on immigration. The other views are interesting as well, if a bit sanctimonious. I believe that America will adapt. Existing Americans might have trouble accepting change in their communities, and this is understandable, just as first-generation immigrants have a difficult time learning English and adapting to the existing culture. These problems come with the territory, so to speak. Our best hope is that future generations will have a greater understanding of each other, and there is much precedent for this and I believe it is inevitable. And, in the mean time, it doesn’t hurt to stick up for what we truly believe is right.

    By the way, I thought this was interesting. Crime statistics for the state of AZ:
    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/azcrime.htm

    The population of AZ is growing dramatically, but if you look at the “index” numbers, or incidents per 100,000 people, you have to go back to the 70’s before you find consistently less violent crime and back to the 60’s (which is as far back as these particular statistics run) to find consistently less overall crime. Obviously this is the entire state and not just Tuscon, but it seems to refute what was probably the most meaningful argument by trucex.

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