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Jan '11

Immigration Gum balls

Someone recently shared this video with me regarding US immigration policy.


I must admit, that I have never heard the argument that US immigration should help to reduce world poverty. I understand that it helps certain people, but I do not believe that many people think that opening the US to more immigration will improve world poverty overall.

I did find it interesting though, the idea that we must help people where they are. Our current legal immigration system is set up to take only 2 main types of people: 1) Relatives of US citizens and 2) The best and brightest from around the world.

I struggle with this second type of immigration. I like the idea that someone who is well educated and will be an asset to our society should be welcomed with open arms. But, what this video reminded me of and reinforced in me is the idea that we are taking those people away from their countries of origin, often times developing nations. How much good could do they do in their own society if they didn’t come to America? It is impossible to tell. From a competitive standpoint, we must attract the best and brightest to our country, but it also raises the issue of why the best and the brightest can’t come from America? I’m not sure if you have recently attended any college graduations, but next time you do, pay attention to the College of Engineering. You can often times count the number of Americans on one hand.  It seems as though we have a lot of work to do with our own citizens and we can’t continue to rely on immigrants to provide the expertise necessary for the next generation. But, we also can’t close ourselves off to immigration. We need diversity, we need the skills and wisdom of people from all over the world. And turning it around again, is it fair for us to “take” those people from other countries that may benefit even more from their presence?

Tough thoughts to chew on….

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