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Author Topic: "Highly-Skilled Immigrants"  (Read 1160 times)
Sound + Vision
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« on: November 24, 2012, 02:36:10 pm »
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This is an issue on which I'm quite conflicted. On the one hand, I believe that multiculturalism should be pursued for multiculturalism's sake. On the other, and I dont have any data to back this up, but I have a feeling that so-called "highly-skilled immigrants" don't exactly come from the bottom of the social ladders of their respective country. As a result, not only do poor Americans have to compete with the well-off of other countries in addition to the well-off of their own, but impoverished countries are being drained of their own desperately-needed educated population. Anyways, these are just my thoughts on the subject. What do y'all think?
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 03:02:51 pm »
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I'm not sure what your question is.  Many countries show a preference for immigrants that are highly educated (Australia is one of them).  The US does it in a way too (the majority of students in graduate programs in US universities is from abroad).  Developing nations suffer from the brain drain and there have been cases where African countries have requested compensation from countries where their educated citizens live and work.
It makes perfect sense for any country to want to attract the best of the best in any field.
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 03:14:57 pm »
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It makes perfect sense for any country to want to attract the best of the best in any field.
Does it? That's my question. There are obvious benefits to this approach, but I want to know if they outweigh the drawbacks. You mentioned the brain drain some African countries experience; that's one of them. I also mentioned in my opening post how encouraging skilled immigration makes it even harder for natives who aren't born well-off.
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 08:35:31 pm »
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Well, I like the fact that my father managed to immigrate. So, yeah, I'm all for.
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 03:36:05 am »
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It makes perfect sense for any country to want to attract the best of the best in any field.
Does it? That's my question. There are obvious benefits to this approach, but I want to know if they outweigh the drawbacks. You mentioned the brain drain some African countries experience; that's one of them. I also mentioned in my opening post how encouraging skilled immigration makes it even harder for natives who aren't born well-off.

Yes of course it makes perfect sense.  Why wouldn't the US want to keep a software engineer from Mongolia whose work can make the economy prosper?  Should they care that she doesn't want to go back to her country because the best job she could possibly do there is teach high-school physics?  Developing countries may lose their most intelligent young people to rich countries, but they probably wouldn't be able to do much with them anyway due to a lack of infrastructures and technology, plus they still benefit because those highly skilled workers send money back to their families.  It's a win-win for both the rich country and the poor country (the rich country of course wins more).  

I actually think the US government should make it easier for highly skilled foreigners to enter the country.  Most of my classmates in grad school were foreigners, and when their student visas expired they had to leave the country.  It's also a lot more difficult for foreigners to find work in the US.  A lot of these kids had potential but they had to leave the country, and it is of course the US economy that suffers.  In some cases that works to their advantage because they're more motivated to work hard to get their degree on time and to find a job, while there have been times I was really lazy.
 
I don't understand how a more skilled workforce would affect the poor. The real problem here is cost of education in this country.  Rich kids can go to any school they want even if they don't deserve it and then by using their connections find way better jobs than some poor kid who has worked a lot harder in his/her life.  I knew this brilliant kid from Venezuela whose house was 10 minutes away from an Ivy League School he really wanted to go to, he was admitted to the school, but he chose to go to the state university, because the Ivy League school was too expensive for him.  I have also taught at some very expensive private schools where the students would cheat, not study at all, but still feel entitled to get good grades because their daddy is paying so much money.  Unfortunately the US education system and labor market are an aristocracy not a meritocracy.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 03:39:33 am by blagohair.com »Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 03:13:30 pm »
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"highly-skilled"=code for "rich"
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Supermariobros
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 05:06:04 am »
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Legal Immigration should be reduced.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 07:10:48 pm »
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I think a nation should have the right to attract the best and the brightest to their country. I know Canada does this, and so should the United States. I think every graduate student in Science field should get a green card, or at least a year or two period to find a job, before their student visa expires. I know this does not comport with what is written on the statue of liberty, but whatever.

As for brain drain, those who succeed in America are able to pump in more money into their home countries economy than they would be if they had to work back in their home country. My parents could be considered as cases of "brain drain", but they are able to pump in thousand of dollars into the Indian economy without any trouble due to the success they have had here in America. America also gains due to the tons of taxes they need to pay, and India benefits because they are able to get money through remittances and investments.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 05:46:37 pm »
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Well, I like the fact that my father managed to immigrate. So, yeah, I'm all for.

I could write a long post, but pretty much this.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 06:20:41 pm »
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There is a PC answer to this question which is: Immigration is good and everybody benefits from it. So it will be difficult to debate in a rational way, but Ill try.

When rich countries attract experts from poor countries they hamper their development if those immigrants don't return. Yes, they send money back, but they don't use their skills to improve their home country and the investment the poor country made in their education is lost. An Indian doctor in Los Angeles cant cure Indian patients, simple as that.
Its true that lack of infrastructure can make it hard to use high tech skills in some countries, but if the experts leave, those countries have few chances of developing that infrastructure, so that's a poor argument.
The US should focus on educating the talent mass among its own underclass and lower middle class by giving them free college tuition and grants instead of harvesting talents from poor developing countries.
High skilled immigration is basically just another way rich countries exploit poor countries. Its good business for the receiving country, but don't take the moral high ground if you support it.
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 10:44:20 pm »
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The OP was asking I believe about the implications this has on the country that receives the immigrants.  I brought up the effect it has on the countries that suffer from brain drain, and I believe I mentioned that the country which receives the immigrants benefits more than the country who loses them.
On the other hand you have to think of the people themselves who make that decision, in many cases sacrificing family, friends, a familiar environment because they feel their own country cannot offer them what they need in order to accomplish what they are capable of.

It's a very complicated issue and certainly not one that can be answered in a few paragraphs.
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 12:06:04 pm »
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What do y'all think?

I'm for admitting highly-skilled immigrants, and I think they're preferable to unskilled immigrants.  I think you can make all sorts of arguments about the societies of origin losing out, which means that somewhere, down the road, we have to spend more dollars propping them up, and about how it creates more competition for native workers, but I still think the advantages to the receiving society outweigh the disadvantages.  The CBO has studied the issue, and their conclusion is that the US receives a net benefit with a more liberal visa plan.  A Notre Dame economist has also looked at the effect of highly-skilled immigration on US cities and found that there is some difference between the impact upon the native low-skilled and native high-skilled populations, but the longer-term impact wasn't conclusive.  Apparently other trends tend to obscure the effect of immigration in the longer term.  See http://nd.edu/~awaggone/papers/wozniak_murray_JUE.pdf

The short term disadvantage is that many immigrants face significant hurdles when they arrive because of poor language skills, or because their academic credentials not recognized here.  A Brookings Institute study found that half of the highly skilled are working in jobs they are overqualified for.  Apparently many of them must spend years being recertified before being allowed to work in their chosen fields in the United States.  I know people in this situation.  This has the effect of displacing some mid- to low-skilled native workers.  (I know a woman from Bangladesh who has a master's degree in pharmacy who works as a cashier at Wal-Mart.)  If you take that into consideration with the Notre Dame study, you can see it as a short-term problem.

My feeling is that despite temporary disequilibria, the receiving country is generally better off economically down the road when it admits highly educated workers than it would be otherwise.  The Bengali woman to which I referred has three daughters, one of whom is about to graduate from medical school and has a research career lined up at Mayo, another of whom has been accepted into an engineering undergrad program.  Of course, each of these daughters displaced some potential student who might have been accepted into those positions, but the universe has a limited number of really good engineers and I'm glad to receive them.)

Just my 2c.


« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:14:54 pm by angus »Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:39:34 pm »
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I'll take the Libertarian view, a combination of leftist and right wing views- all people should be free to travel anywhere (liberal) as long as they can not use public services they they haven't funded  (conservative) and do not commit serious crime (grounds for deportation).
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