Make It About Self Interest Again

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The following is a contribution by outside blogger Gregory Sokoloff. Opinions expressed are solely those of Mr. Sokoloff.

The episode is still seared in my brain, even though it happened a couple of years ago. I was teaching my English as a second language class at a very prominent Washington-area language school, trying to explain sentence structure to about 20 new students, mostly from Central America.

I was cheerfully chirping about subjects, and verbs, and dependent clauses when, to my dismay, I began to realize the material was not sinking in. The relatively basic grammatical concepts were drawing blank stares as if they were sophisticated algorithms detailing an uncharted journey to Mars.

I tried again and again until — in an anti-climactic moment – a man in his 50s rose from his chair and uttered in Spanish with a hang-dog smile: “Teacher, I can’t read handwriting. Can you repeat it all in block letters?”

And now it sank in – but into my head: I was dealing with people maybe with some schooling, maybe none at all — but certainly an education that did not last long enough to get to the concept of subjects and verbs. In other words, I stared into the eyes of functional illiteracy.

Mind you, these were not illegal aliens. These were green card and U.S. citizenship holders – all studying on Pell Grants. A total of $111,000 of taxpayer money just in one classroom with — as it was now becoming increasingly clear — a very dicey chance of bringing a desired return.

Was this something to be surprised about? Hardly. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 51.7 percent of all foreign-born Hispanics in the United States have never finished high school. Among illegal immigrants, the percentage of school drop-outs equals 47.

And even these figure should be taken from a grain of salt because they are gleaned from various government surveys, most of which rely on oral attestation rather than documented proof. Herein lies maybe one of the most mind-boggling paradoxes to the 21st century: A high-tech powerhouse hungry for engineers, mathematicians and software writers is importing largely a half-literate proletarian mass.

There is no doubt that as far as immigration is concerned, we have simply and plainly lost our way. Every day, we are hearing – mainly from the left of our political spectrum – that the besieged opponents of some dictatorial regime need immigrant visas because they have been denied freedom of the speech, that children abandoned by illegal aliens in their native countries need to be reunited with their progenitors in no other place but U.S. soil, and that battered wives in some Macho Republic need protection from – who else? — U.S. law enforcement.

See the emphasis of all of this? They, they, they, and they… And it should be we, we, we and we…
We are bringing in thousands of computer engineers because we want to remain on the cutting edge on the technological revolution. We are giving green cards to qualified nurses because we need to take care of retiring baby-boomers. We are inviting in top-notch architects, physicists and biotechnologists because, as a society, we want to stay at the level of top scientific minds of the world. And we are denying visas to high-school drop-outs because — thank you very much — we have enough of our own.

It is time for our policymakers to realize and accept a simple fact: immigration, in its essence, is a self interested act designed to serve the interests of a host country, not the other way around.

That is what we have been doing, by the way, through most of our history. We imported farmers and ranchers when we had a lot of empty land in need of cultivation. We brought in raw labor when we started building railroads, mine for minerals and build factories.

But now we are in the information age that puts a premium on PhDs rather than a shovel, and our immigration philosophy remains mired in ideological concepts far removed from reality and common sense.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was right when he said, during a recent televised debate, that we should be stapling green cards to advanced degrees in science and technology being received by foreign students. I hope, if he is elected, he has the guts to act on this idea.

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13 Comments

  1. avatar

    Last week, Google noted the birthday of Robert Noyce, the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”, who founded Fairchild Semiconductor (1957). Noyce invented the semiconductor integrated circuit (1959) and co-founded Intel with Gordon Moore in 1968. There he worked with Ted Hoff to develop the microprocessor, which is the basis of today’s digital technology. Of note, also, is the work of William Shockley, who is credited with the invention in 1951 of the first commercially successful transistor.

    All of these men were Americans.

    Today, we are told that without constant immigration of PhDs from South Asia or East Asia, Silicon Valley would collapse. Isn’t it odd that our nation could produce men like Noyce, Moore, Hoff, and Shockley in the 20th century but must import them from Third World countries in the 21st?

    • avatar

      This Guest Editorialist is a Foreign Green Carded Tech?

      Or someone who favors unlimited insourcing of technicals in America during “high unemployment” within these same skill areas.

      What is his credentials and who does he really work for? What country is he from? Russia?

      I say he’s just another Corporate Ag Spokesman screaming for more slaves, when we could be hiring our own citizens who already have track records and professional experience for high technical skills, inventions and product innovation. They just don’t want to pay Americans livable wages, tell the truth.

      Hades, we’ve already outsourced most all the professional degreed automotive engineering/business jobs out of America, closed down NASA’s engineering army and we don’t hardly make anything anymore….why do we need technicals anymore, let alone foreign drone replacements?

  2. avatar

    Flooding our country with blue collar immigrants, legal and illegal has depressed blue collar wages and driven many blue collar Americans into long-term employment. But the idea that we need highly educated immigrants for some economic reason is nonsense. Countries like Germany, Japan, Korea that are doing very well technologically and are running large trade surpluses in the products of technology have done this by providing education and opportunities to their own people, just as we did for many decades, not by importing workers. Now a kid who wants to be an engineer or IT professional knows that when he graduates he will have to compete with a flood of foreign graduates sponsored by our own government. In a market economy, importing labor is purely a means to reduce wages and salaries. It benefits foreigners and employers who are too lazy or incompetent to increase profits by producing better products or by making their workers more productive through training and technology.

  3. avatar

    You are incorrect about the phd’s:
    Phd’s make less money than bachelors or masters. Why is that? We don’t need no phd’s.

    Phd’s and masters and “the best and brightest” are not what we are immigrating. We are immigrating the cheapest labor and replacing expensive citizens who have taxes, mortgages, families and health insurance to pay.

    It is a race to the bottom.

  4. avatar

    amnesty increases ILLEGALS…. but that’s the DEMS & MEXICO’S PLAN!

    AMNESTY INCREASES ILLEGALS! BUT ISN’T THAT THE ENTIRE PLAN? KEEPING WAGES DEPRESSED $300 TO $400 BILLION PER YEAR REQUIRES A STEADY TIDAL WAVE OF ILLEGALS JUMPING OUR BORDERS FOR OUR JOBS… or at least… OBAMA’S CONTINUED NON-ENFORCEMENT!

    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/obama-la-raza-plan-written-by-mexico.html
    *
    ON THE GROWING POWER OF “LA RAZA” FASCISM FOR MEX SUPREMACY
    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/04/history-of-mexican-fascist-party-of-la.html
    *
    WHEN BARACK OBAMA IS NOT WORKING FOR HIS CRIMINAL BANKSTER DONORS, HE’S WORKING FOR LA RAZA!
    OBAMA IS DETERMINED TO ONCE AGAIN WIN THE ILLEGALS’ VOTES. HE HAS INFESTED HIS ADMINISTRATION WITH LA RAZA PARTY SUPREMACIST, SUCH AS SEC. OF (ILLEGAL) LABOR, HILDA SOLIS, AND PROMISED ILLEGALS AMNESTY, NO E-VERIFY, NO (REAL) I.C.E., DEPT of HOMELAND SECURITY = PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP, NO BORDERS, CATCH AND RELEASE OF ILLEGALS, ENDLESS DREAM ACTS PAID FOR BY LEGALS, LAWSUITS ON BEHALF OF LA RAZA AGAINST AMERICANS IN ARIZONA, AND THE END OF BUILDING THE WALL TO KEEP THE HORDES OUT! IF ALL THAT DOES NOT BUY THE LA RAZA VOTE, OBAMA PROMISES CONTINUED NON-ENFORCEMENT!
    VIVA LA RECONQUISTA! VIVA LA RAZA SUPREMACY! Obama does every day!
    *
    James Jay Carafano: The administration’s secure-the-border trap
    By: James Carafano
    Examiner Columnist
    August 22, 2010
    When the public clamors for action to curb illegal immigration, politicians push the “easy button.” They mobilize the National Guard and send them to the border.
    It’s a time-honored tradition, though not always efficacious.
    For example, in 1916, Poncho Villa launched a series of cross-border raids into the U.S. In response, we sent a few thousand troops under the command of Blackjack Pershing to hunt down the bandits.
    It cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Pershing never captured Villa. And, on several occasions, the Army got its butt kicked. On June 21, 1916, the Mexican Army almost completely wiped out a detachment of the 10th U.S. Cavalry at Carrizal.
    Most U.S. troops were withdrawn by 1917. They returned to the border in the 1920s. Ultimately, border violence subsided, not so much due to the U.S. troop presence, but because the revolutionary ardor wracking Mexico had finally run its course.
    Recently, President Obama ordered the National Guard back to the border. And Congress rushed to pass another border bill before sprinting off for summer recess. This frenzy of activity reflects a desire to be seen as “doing something” more than a calculated, serious response to our border security problems.
    For several years, Republicans have chanted a “secure the border first” mantra. It allowed them to look tough on the illegal immigration issue while dodging the issue of “comprehensive” reform. It’s a bad strategy. It suggests that, if the Obama administration overcomes the “border first” problem, it will be clear sailing for a push for amnesty.
    The administration knows an opportunity when it sees one. Hence we saw Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano trot out the “border has never been more secure” argument in congressional testimony earlier this year. However, as violence on the Mexican side of the border continues to escalate, the administration’s “secure border” argument isn’t gaining traction — even among congressional Democrats.
    So now the White House is on a different tack: Throwing money at the problem. Far too many Republicans as well as Democrats are comfortable with that approach — even when it promises to accomplish little. But, in the end, unfocused spending on the border may give the administration an excuse to push through a massive amnesty.
    At some point, after shoveling huge sums of money into low-value border security gambits, pro-amnesty politicians will throw up their hands. “We tried,” they’ll say, “but we just can’t secure the border without amnesty.”
    Whether progress is made on the border or not, the real problem is that any strategy for reducing illegal immigration that includes amnesty is bound to fail. Granting a general amnesty will just encourage another wave of illegal border crossing. That is exactly what happened when the 1986 amnesty bill was passed. And that is exactly what will happen if Washington does it again.
    But waiting until we get the border right before doing anything else to reform immigration policy makes no sense either.
    Securing the border requires solving larger problems. It means working with Mexico to bust the cartels, enforcing our immigration and workplace laws, creating effective temporary-worker programs, and rejecting amnesty once and for all. And, of course, it requires better and more cost-effective border security.
    Washington can’t solve the problem of illegal immigration without tackling all aspects of the problem. Simply pounding the table and chanting “border first” is not just inadequate; it puts us on the short road to a general amnesty.
    Examiner Columnist James Jay Carafano is a senior research fellow for national security at the Heritage Foundation.

  5. avatar

    OBAMA EXPAND HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE with TAX REBATES TO ILLEGALS!

    MEXICANOCCUPATION.blogspot.com
    *
    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/12/illegals-obama-hands-tax-rebates-to-his.html

    OBAMA EXPANDS LA RAZA WELFARE STATE IN OUR BORDERS

    ECONOMICS OF THE LA RAZA “THE RACE” MEXICAN OCCUPATION:
    *
    THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT STATES WITH A POPULATION GREATER THAN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, WHERE HALF THOSE WITH A JOB ARE ILLEGALS USING STOLEN SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS.
    *
    THIS SAME COUNTY PAYS OUT (of property taxes) MORE THAN $600 MILLION PER YEAR IN WELFARE TO ILLEGALS AND HAS A TAX-FREE MEXICAN UNDERGROUND ECONOMY CALCULATED TO BE MORE THAN $2 BILLION PER YEAR!
    NOT A SINGLE LEGAL VOTED TO EXPAND THIS LA RAZA WELFARE STATE.
    *
    THE DEMS ARE FIGHTING TOOTH AND TACO TRUCK TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO LAW PASSED REQUIRING ILLEGALS TO HAVE VALID NON-FRAUDULENT I.D. TO VOTE!

    *
    “Most illegal immigrants have fraudulent Social Security cards, according to Federal Security officials. Their favorite target: young children. SSNs assigned to infants are stolen from medical paperwork and used to file returns. The fraud can go undetected for years – until the child looks for a job as a teenager.

    *
    As you read this series, please realized that the Federal Government has done nothing to deter illegal immigrants from taping into this financial treasure chest. It gets worse as an estimated 800,000 illegal aliens cross our borders every year and grow their numbers for payouts by the American taxpayer.

    DEFRAUDING THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER

    By Frosty Wooldridge
    December 5, 2011
    NewsWithViews.com
    The Earned Income Tax Credit
    Economist Edwin S. Rubenstein examined the widespread fraud created by the EITC. You may visit http://www.TheSocialContract.com to get an idea of the enormous immigration fraud being perpetrated on the American taxpayer.

    • avatar

      We are doomed. No politician in Washington really wants to solve the immigration issue at least not for American workers. These politicians don’t care diddly squat about Americans and their needs. They are so worried about the low skills and future votes of the invading illegals that they will move heaven and earth to get all the Mexican citizens into our country no matter what. Guess they will not rest until a native born Mexican is voted in as the USA President or El Presidenta!. I certainly do not wish that event on any American let alone my children and grand children currently ;looking for jobs but guess what illegals beat them to jobs. We live in New Mexico and every New Mexican has an auntie, mom and Dad, cousins, sisters and brothers just waiting across that border until the pro amnesty coalition gives the work to invade…….

  6. avatar

    STEALTH AMNESTY – Did you vote for it?

    NO PRESIDENT IN HISTORY HAS DEMONSTRATED MORE CONTEMPT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, OUR BORDERS, LAWS OR SOVEREIGNTY THAN THE HISPANDERING PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA!
    LA RAZA SUPREMACIST CECELIA MUNOZ IS ONE OF OBAMA’S MANY FASCIST LA RAZA SUPREMACIST THAT OPERATES OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE!
    *
    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/12/amnesty-obama-pushes-his-stealth.html
    *

    Recently — and quietly — various officials within the Obama Administration announced a plan to suspend the deportation orders of 300,000 illegal aliens who have already been issued such orders by a U.S. court of law.
    *
    ON BEHALF OF HIS LA RAZA SUPREMACIST PARTY, OBAMA HAS SUED FOUR STATES TO KEEP THEIR BORDERS OPEN AND ILLEGALS IN OUR JOBS!

    With a Justice Department fiercely focusing on taking legal action against state laws that help to combat illegal aliens and crimes they commit, a group of U.S. Senators is asking the Obama Administration to stop ignoring local ordinances that undermine federal laws by offering undocumented aliens sanctuary.

    *

    The outrageous federal decree is clearly part of President Barack Obama’s stealth amnesty plan that’s already spared thousands of illegal immigrants from removal and will surely allow many more to remain in the U.S., claim several law enforcement officials.
    *

  7. avatar

    #$%^%$## no, let’s NOT staple a green card to every PhD. As an American-born Caucasian male PhD (MIT, 1965) I am totally FED UP with the way I am being crowded out of the job market in my own country by a bunch of jibbering third-worlders who hate America and Americans with a passion, but love to take our jobs.

    Do you know what happens when a South Asian gets into a hiring and firing position? Within 3 years, all of the Americans have been driven out of the department and it’s all south Asian. I’ve been on the receiving end of it, and know.what it’s like.

    I read the crying “We pay to educate them, and then they go back to their countries” Let’s quit paying foreigners to go to our schools. Make them pay full tuition – NO graduate assistantships. Take the money out of the graduate programs and put it into K-12 education for Americans.

    • avatar

      You are correct, Roger. This has happened to several departments in my company. It also happened at my local bank. They hired an Indian as branch manager and in less than 1 year, all but 1 of the tellers was Indian. I no longer do my banking there.

      Clearly, we are being colonized.