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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: JENNIFER GRANHOLM - POLITICIAN

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Most of you probably don't know about America's "other" foreign-born governor unless you live in Michigan, the state  Canadian-born Governor Jennifer Granholm has run since being sworn in as the state's first woman governor on January 1, 2003. She was re-elected last year for her second term.



Granholm's family moved to California when she was a young child and she initially tried her hand at acting. But at the age of 21, she decided that an acting career was not in the cards and enrolled at UC-Berkeley where she was a Phi Beta Kappa and then went on to earn a law degree from Harvard.



Like Governor Schwarzenegger, she is ineligible to become President of the United States because of her birth in a foreign country.



Favorite fact: One thing Ms. Granholm has in common with Arnold Schwarzenegger is the fact that both were contestants on The Dating Game television show.

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  1. immigrant's Avatar
    Greg,

    How did you miss another foreign-born governor: Bobby Jindal (R).
    Here is the link from Washingtonpost:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/20/AR2007102000528.html?nav=rss_nation/special

    Jindal Wins Louisiana Race, Becomes First Indian American Governor

    Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) became the nation's first Indian American governor Saturday, outpolling 11 rivals in Louisiana and drawing enough votes to avoid a runoff election next month.

  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I've already blogged about Jindal's win, just not in the Immigrant of the Day. Note that he's not an immigrant. He was born in the USA.
  3. Middle Ground's Avatar
    Greg,

    Finally one of you guys at the ILW is making some sense. The pragmatic Gary Endelman wrote these points on the ILW newsletter:

    ___________________

    If Senators Durbin, Grassley and Sanders want to tax the H out of existence, let them get rid of the artificial cap. Any employer willing to pay the penalty should get the privilege of sponsorship;

    Alternatively, remove the H cap but require all employers to prove they cannot find a qualified American. There is one caveat. The standard is not one of minimal qualifications that exists solely in the imaginary world of DOL micromanagement but the real-world test of most qualified that all employers use when they really want to find the best. Employers can use the actual recruitment they conducted before hiring the H-1B beneficiary;

    Remove the H cap but require all H-1B Beneficiaries to have advanced degrees from US or foreign universities;
    Why burden honest employers with DOL micromanagement? If the whole purpose of the labor condition application is to make sure that H-1B dependent employers do not cheat vulnerable foreign workers, then why not simply ban H-1B dependency outright? Do that, prevent any H-1B dependent employer from being able ever to file an H-1B petition and scrap the LCA so that no one has to worry about it any longer. Trees everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief;

    If you do not want to bar H-1B dependent employers from all sponsorship, then increase the taxable income of such petitioners by not allowing them to deduct the salaries paid to H-1B workers as a legitimate business expense.

    Level the playing field. Prevent any single employer from grabbing more than its fair share of H-1B visas by establishing a limit beyond which additional petitions will not accepted.

    Since there may be many employers who do not use all of the H-1B slots available to them, allow those employers who want to sponsor more than their allotment to purchase such unused H-1B numbers, very much as companies now trade emission control credits.

    _____________________

    His first and last points contradict each other - one says no cap and the other says to prevent employers from bogarting the visas. If there is not a cap, then technically there won't be any such things as a "fair share".

    Even though I don't entirely agree with Gary on all points, he seems to be the only one from the ILW who has formed any sort of logical argument.

    You should blog on that. -MG
  4. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) became the nation's first Indian American governor Saturday, outpolling 11 rivals in Louisiana and drawing enough votes to avoid a runoff election next month."

    He's an Indian "George Bush". Forget that guy - unless you think Iraq was a brilliant idea.
  5. Middle Ground's Avatar
    I would probably support the following TWO Endelman ideas (in conjunction with each other):

    1)Remove the H cap but require all H-1B Beneficiaries to have advanced degrees from US or foreign universities;
    Why burden honest employers with DOL micromanagement? If the whole purpose of the labor condition application is to make sure that H-1B dependent employers do not cheat vulnerable foreign workers, then why not simply ban H-1B dependency outright? Do that, prevent any H-1B dependent employer from being able ever to file an H-1B petition and scrap the LCA so that no one has to worry about it any longer. Trees everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief;


    2)
    Level the playing field. Prevent any single employer from grabbing more than its fair share of H-1B visas by establishing a limit beyond which additional petitions will not accepted.

    I assume on #2 Endelman meant a per company cap, as opposed to a national cap. If that were a percentage of the occupation (say 15%) at each company I may go for that. The goal should be to supplement American labor, not replace us outright.
  6. Sid's Avatar
    "Remove the H cap but require all H-1B Beneficiaries to have advanced degrees from US or foreign universities"

    This kind of a bill will help me personally but I don't support excluding people who don't have an advanced degree but have a few years of experience in the industry.

    Firstly, without a worldwide ranking system for universities/colleges for each field, a merit based immigration system that doesn't require employer sponsorship doesn't hold any value. You can get an MS from a random university in the US or anywhere else but it does not necessarily mean that you are better than a person who graduated with a bachelors degree from one of the IITs and has a few years of work experience. In most cases, the employers will pick the IIT graduate.

    Ideally, higher priority should be given to an advanced degree holder from a higher ranked program. I think it's ridiculous that a graduate from MIT gets the same priority as one from Lehigh University under the current system.
  7. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "Ideally, higher priority should be given to an advanced degree holder from a higher ranked program."

    I may be able to support graduates from non US colleges as well, as long as the program is based on rankings. I'm all about competition. If we had a per-company cap instead of a national cap that might work.
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