Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Does the election affect immigration?

Conservative NYTimes columnist David Brooks wrote an op ed piece titled "The Crossroads Nation: From Bill Clinton’s bridge to the 21st century to President Obama’s new foundation, the next American century is often described vaguely. Here’s why."

And here's my comment (#98):

A key issue here, as Mr. Brooks noted, is immigration. Since fundamentalists have ruined education in rural America and liberals have ruined it in urban areas (through sacrificing all ghetto kids because they won't triage urban schools), we don't have enough educated students ourselves.

So we need immigrants, and I suspect Mr. Brooks means the same thing by that as I do--not someone's senile uncle brought here through "family reunification" and not the legalization of millions of semiliterate peasants from parts south.

I mean people like friends of mine here in Silicon Valley, from, for example, Bealrus (two BAs in software engineering), the former East Germany (PhD in physics), China (software engineer at Google), India (software engineering manager at Oracle), Russia (math degree), Bulgaria (marketing at a high tech startup), Rwanda (PhD in math), the Phillipines (two doctors working as nurses), and more. And that's just from my personal circle of acquaintances.

They all knew that they could come here and become Americans. Few other countries would let them assimilate (Australia, the UK, maybe NZ, maybe Ireland--what is it about Anglo society, huh?). But arguably the most accepting of all is America.

Yet they all had to jump through flaming hoops to get here, and wait a long time even before that. That's nuts. These are the ones we want and need.

I don't want unskilled immigrants. We have over 25% unemployment of domestic unskilled labor. Unskilled illegals have driven American blue collar wages into the ditch.

I don't want the current system of legal immigration in which two thirds are "family reunification" instead of the people we really need (let immediate families come IF the breadwinner can win enough bread to support them--but nothing past nuclear families).

I don't want the current system in which we enable people to get fabulous educations, then ship them back--often when they want to stay.

And I don't want to legalize anyone who's here illegally; nor do I want them in the shadows--so use e-Verify to eliminate the shadows, while making legal immigration for skilled workers a whole lot easier. Some illegals are great people with good skills. OK, let's do their home countries a favor by sending those back, while upholding the rule of law here, and getting rid of the ones who wouldn't be an asset to America even if they were legal.

Ultimately we're going to have to adopt a universal biometric ID system. That will eliminate the few shadows e-Verify leaves in place.

And if we've streamlined our immigration system, illegals with skills we actually need can apply from and in their home countries, and wait in line like everyone else.

Now the question is, is either party willing to risk the wrath of 2/3 of Latino immigrants with citizenship in order to fix our immigration system? Or will both be as spineless as they've been so far, leaving immigration overall a big fat mess?

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