The View From 1776

Outsourcing, Immigration, and Education

Outsourcing is driven by more than just cheap foreign labor.  Many employers have no other choice.

An editorial in the Wall Street journal edition of 3/27/06, called “The Other Immigrants” recaps points made here in earlier postings.

First, the Journal comments on the hash made of public education by liberal progressive education (multi-culturalism and PC brain-washing) and the fecklessness necessitated by the teachers’ unions. 

The Journal editorialists write, “Mr. Specter would let more foreign students become permanent residents by obtaining an advanced degree in math, engineering, technology or the physical sciences and then finding work in their field. It’s unfortunate that the U.S. isn’t producing more home-grown talent in these areas, and the fault there lies with our K-12 educators and their political backers who tolerate poor performance. The reality today is that the U.S. ranks sixth world-wide in the number of people graduating with bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Jobs will leave the U.S. and our economy will suffer if bad policy limits industry’s access to intellectual capital.”

Second, the Journal underscores the incongruity of immigration policy that functions like a sieve to admit eleven million or more illegals, yet rigidly boots engineering and science students after they have received high-tech degrees, to a considerable extent, at American taxpayers’ expense.

“Another important reform addresses foreign students who want to work here after graduating from U.S. colleges and universities. It doesn’t make a lot of sense in today’s global marketplace to educate the best and brightest and then send them away to England or India or China to start businesses and develop new technologies for U.S. competitors. But that’s exactly what current U.S. policy encourages by limiting the employment prospects of foreign students who would rather stay here.

“Anti-immigration groups and protectionists want to dismiss these market forces, arguing that U.S. employers seek foreign nationals only because they’ll work for less money. But it’s illegal to pay these high-skill immigrants less than the prevailing wage. And employers are required to document their adherence to the law.

“According to a new study by the National Foundation for American Policy, our broken system for admitting foreign professionals also contributes to outsourcing. Since 1996 the 65,000 annual cap on H-1B visas has been reached in most years, sometimes only weeks into the new year. This leaves employers with the choice of waiting until the next fiscal year to hire workers in the U.S. or hiring people outside the country.”

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