Wednesday, May 23, 2007


So immigration has been back in the news since a bill proposal was put forth outlining a wide variety of things. In this case, the bill is supposed to allow for skilled workers to basically earn their way to a greencard and eventual citizenship. Everyone seems to have problems with the bill, which isn't a surprise since it's a compromise. Regardless of the bill itself, let's just admit right up front that the only reason this is even a topic is because people don't want to deal with things are causing much more strife: Iraq and Healthcare. That's what always happens when people don't want to deal with real problems....they bring up immigration. People love to fight about it.

But something just came to my mind while reading a post on Sepia Mutiny regarding the term FOB and a comment about previous immigrants eventually "pulling up the ladder" and hating on more recent immigrants. What I actually thought of is how futile the idea of this all is. If the bill enables skilled workers to come into the country, there's a group of Americans who will say "Man, those damn immigrants just want to take our high paying jobs". If the bill enables lower skilled workers to come in, there's a group of Americans who will say "Man, those damn immigrants just want to undercut us and bring down everyone's wages"

The point being, that regardless of the arguments, people just don't seem to like immigrants. And it gets back to the age-old argument that America is a country of immigrants, etc, etc. I think it's obvious that most Americans don't give a crap about that. Oh well. Sad.

Oh, and my thoughts on the bill? Well, it's so broad it's tough to say anything really succint about it. My main concern on the bill and the discussion around it is the construct of *workers* versus *families*. I'm not saying it's pro or against families, but the reality of most people is that they are part of some family unit. Most long term immigration is associated with families, not with individual workers. And if they are individual workers, they eventually make families for themselves by either finding someone already here or going back to their homeland and bringing back a spouse.

Regardless of whether you think this is bad or good, I think you have to acknowledge that for any type of immigration to work in the long run, it has to take that into account. I haven't read through every last detail on this bill, but it seems to do everything possible to discourage someone with a family to go through this new hassle. You apparently have to work here 2 yrs, then go back to your homeland for a yr, then you can come back for 2 yrs, then you can apply for a greencard. If I have a wife and kids, I just don't think I'd bother going that route, regardless of the expense of it. It's just too disruptive. So I'd either:
a) Come here alone legally and be a worker drone saving up until the day I can either return home as a rich man or import my wife and kids after my 5 yr wait. I'd also potentially be accused of taking away a skilled American programmer's job.
b) Stay home legally and be accussed to taking away American jobs through outsourcing
c) Come with my family illegally and be accused of stealing good jobs from every uneducated American.
d) Or just apply for the greencard lottery from home and wait 10 yrs with thoughts of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head.

So how's that any different from what we have now?

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