Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) has decided American high school and college graduates don’t have a hard enough time finding jobs in this floundering economy. According to The Denver Post, Bennet wants to give high school graduates illegally in the US a student visa if they enroll in a college science, technology, or math program. The proposed bill would also allow more foreign students with advanced science and math degrees to get green cards by creating a new green card category.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting more than 9% of recent college graduates are unemployed, do we really need to be bringing in more competition? That 9% doesn’t take into account graduates who have been unable to find jobs in their field. According to the Huffington Post, only half of the college students who graduated between 2006-2010 found full-time jobs. In 2011, 1.5 million graduates grappled over the same shrinking job pool. Many educated 20-24 year olds scrape by with part-time jobs or jobs that don’t require college degrees, staggering meanwhile under crippling student loan debt. For those Americans who don’t or can’t go to college, the economic horizon looms even bleaker. Already young Americans with high school diplomas struggle with 20-23% unemployment, a number doubtless exacerbated by the influx of cheap, illegal labor.
America has always been the land of promise. The promise to this generation was “Work hard, go to college; jobs will be waiting for you bright young things.” That promise is now riddled with cracks. Sen. Bennet was a former Denver Public Schools superintendent; he should know better. His focus should be on boosting America’s students here and now, on revitalizing the economy, on renewing that promise to this generation and the generations to come. Not flooding the market with more foreign labor while econ-Phd-holding Americans ring up toilet paper at Walmart.