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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

EDUCATE, THEN EXILE

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The New York Times profiles how our nonsensical immigration policy has forced one of Google's rising stars to live in Canada. The part of the story interviewing Kim Berry of the Programmers Guild is really telling. Those who really understand why America has succeeded for generations and has produced the world's leading companies know that workers are not fungible. But that's what the Programmers Guild and Mr. Berry would have you believe. If you buy in to Mr. Berry's argument, then we need to kill the H-1B visa and American companies need to limit their searching to just American employees. But if you believe America's future leadership in the world economy depends on our ability to attract the best talent, then you should be very, very worried.

I would tell Mr. Berry that American companies are like major league sports teams. How many fans of the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs would be content if those teams only recruited from the Bronx or the north side of Chicago? If you want to win, you hire top scouts who will scour the world for the best talent. The same is true for Google, Sun or Intel. Of course, each of these companies was founded by immigrants. The odds are 50-50 that Mr. Berry's company was also founded by an immigrant (maybe that's why he refuses to name his employer).

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  1. Waiting's Avatar
    Nice Article. Not welcoming immigrants will show results in few years. I personally know some of my friends who left this country due to immigration and opportunities back home. Most of them were products of IIT, India and Ivy league colleges here. They have opened their own companies back there and started their own R&D/services companies. From the five I know, they altogether employ nearly 150 workers. Lot of the new graduates do not want to come to US anymore. They are getting nice wages back in India and do not want to go through hostile environment in western world. It will be silly to think that people who work here and face these difficulties are not giving genuine feedback back home.

    Immigration from India (thanks to billion) will not stop. Later when this country will need engineers, they will not get high quality engineers. Companies will have to work with graduates from tier3/4 schools. Or this country might end up not needing engineers at all. Most jobs will be outsourced to other countries.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    If after reading this story the Loosers Guild still believes that if send immigrants out of the country, the job goes to an American, Mr. Berry and the loosers need to have their head examined.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    "Mr. Berry says his skills and education -- a bachelor's degree in computer science from California State University, Sacramento -- are denigrated by an industry that asserts that the best talent comes from overseas, via Ivy League schools."

    Mr. Berry is too lazy to compete..a sense of entitlement. Why did n't he try to compete with the foreigners and go to Ivy League schools. Did shutting out the gentlemant from India resulted in the job going to an American? No. It did not. I do not believe it was google's loss..they will still benefit from his talents. But, the job did not go to one of Mr. Berry's cronies in the Looser's guild. It followed the foriegner abroad. Canada gets the tax and social security revenue and unless a Canadian job migrated to the US in exchange, that is a loss of tax revenue and social security for the USA...which means five years from now, they will say that the deficit is high and we need to cut education. Short sighted immigration policies lead to a vicious cycle. First the looser's guild says that if there is a shortage the job should be given to an American at a very high wage, and the corporation says no and follows the foreigner abroad, which means loss of tax revenue to the US which means cuts in education budgets, which means shortage of skills, which means the looser's guild says pay higher wages and the corporation says no and moves more jobs abroad and this leads to even lower tax revenues and the cycle continues.
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    I for one am not worried about American corporations ability to compete. They can always keep the guys in Canada, Singapore or Australia and do their innovation there. More concerned about loosing jobs abroad. Can we really afford further losses in tax revenues at the time of spiralling debt and deficits.
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    Sessions is a typical southern white protectionist who opposes affirmative action because the best qualified should get the job but when it comes to immigration he opposes the best qualified becuase the less qualified white guy should get the job for the sake of national interests..typical southern white politician!
  6. George Chell's Avatar
    I read the Times report three times..what amazes me is that the reporter does not challenge Mr. Berry with the evidence that a job has moved to Toronto as a result of the lack of visas, i.e., the job has not gone to an American as a result of shutting the foreigner out!
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    The Obama Administration taking on the looser's guild!

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9131045
  8. George Chell's Avatar
    Lofgren opposes piecemeal Grassley-Durbin..

    "Lofgren does not support piecemeal bills, such as the one planned by Grassley and Durbin, but wants overarching legislation that covers many issues, including reforming the H-1B process and making it easier for some foreign professionals to get green cards."

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12040134
  9. George Chell's Avatar
    "Or this country might end up not needing engineers at all. Most jobs will be outsourced to other countries."

    Exactly!

  10. Sid's Avatar
    Kim Berry's sense of entitlement is hilarious - Google receives millions of applications from Americans, so they should get hired over a Harvard educated immigrant. The possibility that an immigrant can be smarter than millions of Americans is not plausible to him.

    The average PG person is in their 40s or 50s and has graduated from a lesser known university or college (which used to be good enough when they graduated). To convince fellow Americans that the H-1B program hurts smart Americans with cheaper immigrant workers, they really need to parade some MIT/Stanford talent who have been affected. Their goal seems to be to block foreign competition till they reach retirement. They don't care about the fact that this will only increase outsourcing and severely hurt the next generation of American graduates. What if 10 other Googlers relocate to the Toronto office? Will they not hire Canadians and Canadian immigrants and start a new team there? The best thing going for the Silicon Valley is the critical mass of engineering talent and VCs. When that critical mass is allowed to form somewhere else, like Bangalore, it increases the flow of jobs to those hubs. 20 more hubs like that all over the world and Americans can forget about being the leaders in technology. The nice thing about the tech industry is that it didn't receive any bailouts from the government when the dot com bust happened and unions like PG wield very little power. As a result, American tech companies continue to be the best in the world. Look what happened to the American car companies and public schools.
  11. George Chell's Avatar
    "Kim Berry's sense of entitlement is hilarious - Google receives millions of applications from Americans, so they should get hired over a Harvard educated immigrant. The possibility that an immigrant can be smarter than millions of Americans is not plausible to him."

    Comment: My white American friend who graduated with a PhD from MIT and now teaches at Berkeley says that this is how many of his compatriots behave. When it comes to Affirmative Action..when they end up hiring a Cal State African American graduate over a white MIT..they will say it is unfair as the best qualified did not get the job. However, when a foreigner gets a PhD from MIT with a 4.0 GPA and gets hired over a white American from Cal State (like Berry) they would complain that the American should get the job. In fact if you are not blonde blue eyed American you cannot be better qualified and has to be low wages. In other words hire the white American first whether qualified or not! This attitude permeates among CIS and FAIR. They have no problem when foreign actors unemploy aspiring US actors, white or otherwise. But, let a piddly 35,000 Indian or Chinese engineers from MIT into the country, they have a major problem. Bigotry plain and simple!

    "The average PG person is in their 40s or 50s and has graduated from a lesser known university or college (which used to be good enough when they graduated). To convince fellow Americans that the H-1B program hurts smart Americans with cheaper immigrant workers, they really need to parade some MIT/Stanford talent who have been affected."

    Comment: Not too many around..at least the Caucasian variety. Took the T from Park to Harvard..full of young Indo-American women talking about the Airbus 380 combustion and they got of at MIT. I bet they are not complaining.

    "Their goal seems to be to block foreign competition till they reach retirement. They don't care about the fact that this will only increase outsourcing and severely hurt the next generation of American graduates. What if 10 other Googlers relocate to the Toronto office? Will they not hire Canadians and Canadian immigrants and start a new team there? The best thing going for the Silicon Valley is the critical mass of engineering talent and VCs. When that critical mass is allowed to form somewhere else, like Bangalore, it increases the flow of jobs to those hubs. 20 more hubs like that all over the world and Americans can forget about being the leaders in technology. The nice thing about the tech industry is that it didn't receive any bailouts from the government when the dot com bust happened and unions like PG wield very little power. As a result, American tech companies continue to be the best in the world. Look what happened to the American car companies and public schools."

    Comment: I blame my fellow economists for the abdication of responsibility. For too long they have allowed Borjas to argue his outdated voodoo! What we need is a study of whether shutting out skilled migrants leads to higher outbound FDI and higher unemployment in the US. Perhaps there may be a paper out next year. Creating a critical mass in Singapore or Toronto will not impact google or its shareholders. However, it will lead to declines in tax revenue which we cannot afford at this time of trillion dollar deficits. What the country should be trying to do is keep the jobs here in America..however, Sessions and Grassley are making sure that jobs will go abroad and we will have even higher deficits.

  12. Jim's Avatar
    "Americans can forget about being the leaders in technology.'

    I think America will still be the leaders in technology and as well as other industries like health care, etc... and will still be the innovators in almost every field.

    However, the bulk of the jobs won't be in America.

  13. AD's Avatar
    He worries about the employability of his children, who are studying engineering at top colleges, the University of Southern California and California Polytechnic State University.


    Mr Berry rather than encouraging his children to compete is telling them the playing field is seriously tilted against them. I feel sorry that he has chosen to sow the same/similar protectionist thoughts into another generation.
  14. George Chell's Avatar
    "He worries about the employability of his children, who are studying engineering at top colleges, the University of Southern California and California Polytechnic State University."

    USC is a good school for film, economics and liberal arts. Definitely does not rank among the Purdues, MITs and even Rose-Hulmans in computer science and engineering.

    "Mr Berry rather than encouraging his children to compete is telling them the playing field is seriously tilted against them."

    Unless he is a minority himself, most minority Americans including high achieving Hapas here in Hawaii will laugh! I am sure Obama would be laughing in private both at Berry and Sessions. There are a lot of such people in California. In fact I have met many in California who complained in 1994 about AA (Affirmative Action) when blacks are "preferred" without AP courses in their high school for admission into Stanford over better qualified whites. I have also heard the same people complain about too many Asian Americans/Hapas in Berkeley and UCLA after Affirmative Action was abolished. A sixteen year old Hapa from Hawaii, a first year student in engineering at Berkeley was told that she got into the program because of Affirmative Action and because there are quotas for out of staters which was unfair because the Californians pay taxes. Here is a super achieving kid..and they are telling her she got in through a quota and a qualified white was denied a job because it went to an Asian American with an Asian father from Japan. I beleive Mr. Berry belongs to this category (people who think that if you are a minority you are not qualified and if you are a foreigner you must be paid low wages). I think KIrkorian and Stein belong to this category as well as they dont complain about fields where there are majority white immigrants.
  15. George Chell's Avatar
    Remeber this about Americans (mostly white Americans)..always complain about As and the two AAs..Asians, Asian Americans and Affirmative Actions..they also complain about the two Hs..Hispanics and Hapas.
  16. George Chell's Avatar
    Sorry they complain about three Hs..Hapa, Hispanics and H1B. Oversight on my part!
  17. George Chell's Avatar
    Hi Greg!

    This is for you..I bet Arapaio has a lot of this going on in his jurisdiction!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/mistaken_for_illegal_i
  18. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Thanks George for the link. The problem described in the article is really disturbing and I'm glad it is getting discussed.
  19. George Chell's Avatar
    "Thanks George for the link. The problem described in the article is really disturbing and I'm glad it is getting discussed."

    Personally if we can find few people who are arrested by Arapaio who are US citizens..it will be fantastic..preferably folks related to the Salazars..otherwise it is very difficult to take action against this character.

  20. AD's Avatar
    Greg & George,

    I am short of words on the Pedro Guzman story. I am wondering why we are not seeing a Guzman vs United States( I mean ICE) on this issue yet. Isn't there any attorney out there who is interested in taking ICE to task? (or) Has the Guzman family had its share of grief, more than a full plate even now and dont want to drag on?
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