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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

WHY IS STATE DEPARTMENT USING IMMIGRATION POLICY TO PROVIDE FOREIGN AID TO CHINA?

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Some of you may know that I've been a co-author of the annually published LexisNexis' J-1 Visa Guidebook for the last dozen years. J-1 visas are used by a variety of folks including students and researchers training in a lot of fields. For many decades, J-1s from developing countries have been required to comply with a requirement to return to their home countries for two years following their J-1 time in the US. The idea is that the J-1 program is a part of the US foreign aid system and the two year requirement is a way to ensure that needed skills learned in the US are transferred back to the J-1 visa holder's home country.

The State Department maintains something called the Exchange Visitor Skills List and it lists all of the countries in the world that it considers to be developing and the particular skills and occupations where the country needs help. If you're a J-1 visa holder from a country on the list and your skill area is included, you're very likely subject to the home residency requirement. The list has not been updated since 1997 and was sorely in need of updating. For example, Iran is on the list of countries we assist via the Skills List.

The State Department today finally released a 2009 Skills List which will become effective June 28th. Sure, Iran is off. But to my great surprise, China remains on the list and most of the math, science and technology skills are still listed. This basically means that we are training a lot of super smart math and science whizzes and then ordering them to leave the US with all of that new knowledge so that they can then help their country compete with us.

India is also on the list even though they are becoming a major economic competitor. At least the IT occupations for India were not included in this new version (though almost all of the other engineering, science, math and technology fields are still there).

Is the State Department completely asleep at the switch?




DOS J-1 skills list for 2009 - Free Legal Forms

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Comments

  1. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Some of the people I know have gotten waiver from the Indian government and provided the waiver letter to USCIS..in fact for India, at a University I am familiar with in the east coast, close to 80% of the J1 students initially who had a two year requirement were able to get waivers through the Indian government and were allowed to stay in the country.

    Why does state department continue the practice while others countries dont? For the same reason they continue the nonsense called Section 214(b)..a relic of the past.
  2. Jack's Avatar
    If you buy into an economic warfare argument with education and technology as the weapons, at its logical end there is only one option--only educate foreign students who you KNOW will immigrate. Issue: how do you know ahead of time who that is? They could just lie in order to gain entry into the university of their choice. Taking that out of the equation, you still wouldn't admit more students than you plan to offer permanent residency to upon graduation but the current numbers are pretty huge, even just in scientific fields. So if you believe in this, we should cut the student visas way back OR radically expand offers to stay. Take your pick. If you don't view it as a contest to 'win', you don't care if a certain country gains on or passes the U.S. I guess the government doesn't care because we are never in equilibrium or even close.
  3. Nurse's Avatar
    I really wonder what the intentions of J-1 program is? If it was for benefits of other countries then why offer waivers by making them serve in under served areas of US? If real intentions are to bring doctors to rural areas of US then be clear from front end. If not, then do not offer any J-1 waivers.
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Actually, the J-1 doctors are obligated under a provision separate from the Skills List. But your point about it not really being an exchange program anymore (hasn't been for decades) is well taken.
  5. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Jack:

    If Americans learn to compete without using the calculator for everything, there would be fewer foreigners admitted to the program. Most foreigners admitted score between 750-800/800 on GRE Math. If the US wants to maintain at least a semblance of meritocracy it has to admit students on merit. End of story. Otherwise we will have good old incompetent boys network led by Dan Mudd of Fannie May, Richard Fuld of Lehmann Brothers and John Lewis of the Bank of America..the consequences of not having a meritocracy in the business world.

    Make your pick: admit students on merit irrespective of race, natioanlity or anything else, or have affirmative action and admit through racial and gender quotas. People need to pick one or the other..they cannot have it both ways and demand protection for one group or the other based on nationality. One more point: if we had cut back on student visas last year, universities would have come to the Federal government for TARP money and yes universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Why? American applications dropped sharply due to recession and disasters at Sallie Mae (an affiliate of Fannie Mae). So the argument is nonsense!
  6. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "Actually, the J-1 doctors are obligated under a provision separate from the Skills List. But your point about it not really being an exchange program anymore (hasn't been for decades) is well taken."

    A lot of things about the US immigration policy does not make any sense. They regularly stamp the two year requirement on South African and Malaysian passports. However, the SA government gives waiver to whites, Indians and coloreds because they dont want these groups competing with blacks for jobs back home. Similarly, Chinese and Indian ethnicities are given waivers by the Malaysian government because they dont want these groups competing with Malays for jobs. So other politics are also involved in the granting of waivers!

  7. Jim's Avatar
    Well, I think this is no surprise. Just a matter of time, I guess before immigrants take the blame for the Swine flu.

    http://www.alternet.org/wire/12/swinefluconservativesblameimmigrants
  8. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Jim - Actually just posted an Olbermann clip from the night before last that does a good job of taking on this issue.
  9. Jim's Avatar
    "Actually just posted an Olbermann clip from the night before last that does a good job of taking on this issue."

    Thanks, Greg.
  10. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Michelle Malkin who the Filipina community calls a sell-out and Glen Beck? No surprise here. About four years ago I watched a movie where an American (white) woman is possessed by the spirit of a dead Buddhist monk in the Philippines and goes on a killing rampage to avenge his death at the hands of the Filipino soldiers...I think Michelle Malkin is possessed by the spirit of a mean southern planter and is going on a verbal rampage against Mexicans, blacks and other non-whites. May be she is possessed by the spirit of Lestor Maddox, Ross Barnett or Orval Forbus...will make an interesting movie.
  11. Jim's Avatar
    "Michelle Malkin who the Filipina community calls a sell-out"

    - First time I have heard of her so I checked wikipedia. If the wikipedia write-up is accurate I say we can say that she was a planned "anchor baby" just in case her parents could not stay in the US after graduating.

    Hope no one will accuse me of using the term "anchor baby". I know it's derogatory but that term is widely used by right wing nuts, so it shouldn't be a problem or hurt any right wingers if the term is used against them.

    Since she was born and raised in the US and luckily automatically became a US Citizen by birth without going through any processing I think accusing her of being a sell-out is debatable. For all intents and purposes, she isn't really considered a true Filipina in the first place.

  12. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    There is no doubt I would be really disappointed if my American-born child went on to make a career in anti-immigrant rhetoric. And take a different last name due to unease with the immigrant roots. Her parents must feel awful.
  13. Ajaman Khan's Avatar
    Is Pakistan no longer on the new Skill list as of June 28 2009? If that is the case then J1 interns, came last year with a 2 yrs condition, won't have to go back after June 28th 2009, once they are done with their internship..? Can you explain?
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