Where Are America's Immigration Priorities?

Ann All

I often wonder about America's priorities with immigration reform. As in the past, the current administration's efforts appear to focus first and most prominently on the nettlesome issue of illegal immigration. Yes, I realize undocumented immigrants put a strain on our country. Such immigrants pay no taxes yet partake of health care, education and other social services.


But what about the problem of skilled immigrants who come to the United States to perform research or other sophisticated tasks and then can't get a green card? Earlier this year, Duke University's Vivek Wadhwa published a report showing that increasing number of skilled immigrants, frustrated at the green card backlog, are opting to return to their home countries rather than stay here.


BusinessWeek referred to the study in an article on immigration, in which Wadhwa says politicians and companies alike now appear more focused on coming out of the current recession than on the long-term implications of losing such talent. He believes some 200,000 skilled workers from India and China will return home over the next five years while approximately 100,000 have done so over the past 20 years. That has something to do with strengthening economies and a growing entrepreneurial culture in those countries. But restrictive immigration requirements don't help.


The article also shares the experiences of three skilled immigrants. One of them, a 33-year-old software consultant for IBM who came to the United States in hopes of starting a business, has been waiting five years for a green card and is considering returning to his home country of India, says:

Most likely, I am heading back. In a way, I feel cheated. I've contributed, paid taxes, and even picked up a California accent. But it's not enough.

Another, a 30-year-old Indian who works for a bank and is in the United States on an H-1B visa, is mulling a move to Canada to launch a product he's developed and for which he's already secured funding, a tool to help sixth- to eighth-graders learn math and science. He says:

I feel restricted here. I understand the U.S. has a responsibility to its citizens, and I understand its dilemma. But the country would be better off if it could isolate and identify skilled workers who want to come here and build things and welcome them in.

He may not find the environment much more welcoming in Canada, which some experts say is creating a demand for short-term foreign workers rather than permanent residents with recent changes to its immigration policy. Maybe he should try Australia, which has been working hard to attract skilled immigrants.


The United States is certainly not the only country to struggle with immigration issuesas this post from last spring shows. And legislators' attention is obviously focused on health care these days. But wouldn't it be great if the federal government could put the need for attracting and retaining skilled immigrants to the U.S. on their agendas? Cities like Cleveland are involved in efforts to attract skilled immigrants,although it's not yet clear if those effrots are paying off.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 27, 2009 12:00 PM MadMommy MadMommy  says:

This is not about legal immigrants that have skills that companies want. This is about American citizens who are last on the list of priorities for most businesses. If a business can save on their payroll by employing an HB=1 visa holder from India, they won't want to pay a living wage to an American citizen with the same skills.

As American companies continue to push their agenda to reduce costs and increase profits, they are abandoning the American worker. the American taxpayer and leaving the American family behind in their pursuit of corporate greed.

American businesses need the middle class to buy their products. But in pursuit of the almighty dollar, they are killing the middle class that is so vital to their success. When American citizens can't get a job because all the good paying jobs are given to imported immigrants, who will support the families of American citizens? Who will pay the taxes or purchase their products?

California already has 11.7% unemployment and upwards of 17% under-employed. What then are we to do when the employers who have jobs to fill chose to request more HB-1 visas instead of hiring American citizens? We need to make sure Americans are considered FIRST, not last.

Jul 27, 2009 2:00 PM Brittanicus Brittanicus  says:

A battle brewing over legalizing 20 plus illegal immigrants and their family members, is not just a political war that will have dire consequences for just American workers, but for the whole population that pays taxes?  The testimonial of Robert Rector an outspoken analyst with the Heritage Foundation, that legalizing the lawbreakers will cost $2.5 Trillion dollars in escalating taxes, just to pay for retirement and pensions?  Because of the decades of indifference of Washington, we are now stuck with a massive occupation of foreign nationals and their families. Now the lawmakers are looking for an easy way out. For all those years of businesses who have intentionally seek cheap labor, thereby dumping the whole financial burden on every US taxpayer.

Their years of lobbying less reputable members of the House and Senate, has paid off admirable. Business have lined their pockets and never paid their illegal employed labor any  health care, schooling for the children or the massive welfare benefits?  Upcoming is President Obama's promise to the countless numbers, who have invaded our country must not happen. These politicians have compromised our quality of life, our language and our culture. Under pressure from many open border globalist organization our politicians have murdered many immigration enforcement laws. E-Verify--a composite of the SAVE ACT was almost shelved, as they are now straining at the leash to weaken local police action 287(g), the NO MATCH LETTER and even ICE raids.

Currently we are teetering on the edge of OVERPOPULATION, with even our government acknowledging our numbers will rise to 440 million in just forty years. Our country can do without Federal mandates that includes free medial care, education, low income housingSection 8, food stamps, just a name of few free government handouts. All these benefits should go to American families who are in need. GOOGLEabout the growing chaos in Europe from the importation of legal and illegal immigrants. GOOGLE--the disguised costs that are forced on taxpayers, not disclosed by the media or Congress. America is in survival mode now with nearly 10.5 percent jobless, home foreclosures, car repossessions, health care and more.

USE YOUR VOTING POWER TO CONTACT YOUR POLITICIANS AT 202-224-3121 Believe it! Your voices are having a crucial effect.? Support for the bi-partisan SAVE Act, which will expand E-Verify and protect American Workers!  We must focus on the cornerstone to this major problem-the jobs that attract illegal aliens. It would phase in a requirement for every employer to use the electronic E-Verify system.  We must also be aware that the Democrats are ready to open the gates to our nation, once a path to citizenship is announced. GOOGLE--the facts at NUMBERSUSA, AMERICANPATROL

Update: one of the authoritative Capitol Hill publications suggests that minority Caucuses and all those here undocumented, is quite pleased with the way the current House health plan will provide coverage for illegal aliens. YES! To government health care for Americans. Definitely NO! Free health care for those here illegally?

Jul 27, 2009 4:50 PM know know  says: in response to MadMommy

With CA unemployment so high, LA Lakers has 5 foreign players..this is unfair. LA Lakers should train the citizens and bring them to NBA level! (Not to mention the scores in .LA Dodgers, San Diego Padres....)

Jul 28, 2009 8:03 AM Terri Terri  says: in response to EngiNERD

Hopefully with strong pressure from US Americans there will be no

amnesty this tiime around. Enough about foreign workers- they can "build things" as the first repy put it IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES.

India needs talented people- why do they come here? Build your own countries first, we do not elect a president, govenor, mayor-etc to worry about foreign workers. This is the last thing that we should worry about.


Jul 28, 2009 8:38 AM MadMommy MadMommy  says: in response to know

I guess this is just a funny game to you. Perhaps you don't have children in the public school system, or perhaps your state isn't bankrupt from 2.7 million illegal immigrants drawing on public services. You're lucky.

Just watch the basketball game and eat a taco. You may never know the problems that come with sanctuary policies that have taken away the quality of life in Los Angeles and replaced it with hordes of illegal immigrants on every corner.

You probably can't even imagine what it's like to have police just turn a blind eye when illegal immigrants break the law. Not your problem....But sadly, it's an every day occurrence in my part of town.

Jul 28, 2009 7:15 PM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

Some one needs an education on the  Skilled Worker issue!

I'd  started by checking



or go to these  websites




and dozens more......

for video  this  must watch! 


It above  only scratches the surface of


How  about a discussion on the loss of American jobs?? 

Aug 3, 2009 5:19 PM dreamon dreamon  says: in response to Terri


Enough about foreign workers- they can "build things" as the first repy put it IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES

So Terri...how did your ancestors appear in US? 'Aliens' or 'Jesus' dropped them here? ..dumb ass..

If they were not accepted in US, you would not be here expressing so much of hatred

Aug 18, 2009 10:56 AM Green Card Green Card  says: in response to dreamon

From a humanitarian perspective, our fellow human beings, who migrate to support their families, continue to suffer at the hands of immigration policies that separate them from family members and drive them into remote parts of the American desert, sometimes to their deaths. This suffering should not continue.

Now is the time to address this pressing humanitarian issue which affects so many lives and undermines basic human dignity. Our society should no longer tolerate a status quo that perpetuates a permanent underclass of persons and benefits from their labor without offering them legal protections.

Aug 27, 2009 3:20 PM Canadian immigration consultant Canadian immigration consultant  says: in response to Green Card

For immigration in Canada you can get different immigration consultancy which provides legal services and assistance in obtaining permanent Canadian residency Visa and temporary work permits for Visa applicants across the globe.


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