The IEEE-USA has teed up for EEs the big political debate of 2013-immigration. Like it or not, it's time to sort out and share your views.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Immigration is poised to be the big political issue of 2013, and it’s time engineers weigh in on it.
I know, it seems premature to be calling for a debate about what’s likely to be next year’s big congressional issue. Florida has barely finished counting its ballots from the presidential elections. Most of us are still picking Thanksgiving turkey out of our teeth, and legislators have yet to decide in which direction we will go rolling off the fiscal cliff.
That didn’t stop the IEEE-USA from chiming in on the issue. In a 28-page report released Tuesday (Nov. 26) it argued the current system using a lottery geared to opening the door to a diverse set of nations has outlived its purpose. In its place, the U.S. should make the possession of a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) degree the key criteria, it suggested.
“The data indicates that swapping the visa lottery for STEM green cards will not diminish the diversity of America’s immigration sources,” the IEEE-USA wrote. “By prioritizing skills it will create and keep jobs in the US,” it said.
The report is timed to give a boost to Republican-sponsored bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. That bill would replace the current lottery system for 55,000 immigration visas with one based on STEM degrees.
I suspect management in the electronics industry will hail the report. When he was CEO of Intel, Craig Barrett used to say a green card ought to get stapled to every STEM degree from a U.S. university.
I assume engineers seeking green cards will support a plan that would put them at the head of the line. Those out of a job or worried about their job security may see such a bill as a threat. But is there a more nuanced debate EEs ought to be having now?
A significant percentage of minority voters in the recent presidential election cast their ballots overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket. Their votes shifted the debate from whether to how to enact immigration reform.
So like it or not, it’s time to start a thoughtful discussion of the very real complexities of the issues. The IEE-USA decided the place to begin is with a proposal that a technical degree become the key to getting a U.S. green card.
Indeed, you have explained quite well what a major problem is with this new "celebrating diversity" mindset we're all suppose to subscribe to.
With diversity come a bunch of different cultural attitudes and values. It becomes difficult when you're celebrating diversity to then turn around and impose one sub-culture's values on another sub-culture. Even when it seems obvious that this would be a good thing, as you have articulated.
Anyway, I think you're strayiong off the thread here. Even if what different sub-cultures value is different, which it is, it's still a LONG shot to assume that you can force kids into doing what they don't want, and excell at it. In a global market, you are competing against the very best.
I agree 100%. In fact most of what people are saying here would speak against any more 'open boarders' for would be cheap to hire foreign engineers.
How about we go global to find the lowest paid politicians?
its strikes me as a patent war escalates, all we are seeing is a war for gifted individuals. US has made war all to easy, asset stripped companies for patents and left Uk with very little. And now US giants dodge tax on the high street. Im sorry, but I can only confirm that the brain drain has happened. Korea and China will win this one. Apple and all others are only fighting a patent battle now and trying to plug the drain by waiving a "come and live here" flag to the future innovators, that success and the attraction is already happening in Asia. With our history of external investors coming and going, many of us are now sure our country is firmly a "consumption" only market. Consumption requires innovative products cheaply and of high volume. Thats Asia. If a whant a good lawyer, he would probably be American, thats the sad part.
BTW - there is just such a clause in the H1-B system but do you think that money gets into worker training. Some one should follow the money. I did a lot of analysis on who hires H1-Bs years ago and it was strange how for example Microsoft and Oracle could not find IT engineers in the Valley but HP had no trouble. Its publicly available at the Dept of Labor site - see who and how many H1-Bs are hired for youself.
Please do not change history just for your convenience (unless you are British). British did not do any free service to uplift the developing countries you quoted. They brought more destruction than any development.
One reason that so many of the college recruiters find so many foreign students is that Universities like to have them because they pay such high tuition fees. With state funding for colleges under fire, the administrators target students that bring in high revenue.
I think fundamentals hit the nail on the head here. The only thing he got wrong is the compensation of "top-notch" engineers, there's a large contingent of employers who think the "premium" that should be paid for top engineering talent is EXACTLY zero - "you older guys ought to consider yourselves lucky you get hired at all" and they act as if they weren't doing overt age discrimination (I used to work a lot of contract assignments so I ought to know, the top rates out there now are LOWER than the minimum I used to accept for the same work). And they're getting away stashing the difference of a couple trillion in offshore bank accounts where US laws for the most part can't touch them. I've stated elsewhere on related blogs that the absolute WORST thing we could do at this point is encourage our kids to enter robotics competitions to get them interested in "STEM" fields and provide more fodder for the beast. Until we get our DOMESTIC technical supply-demand equations back in balance we ought to do absolutely NOTHING to encourage more technical immigration. Unfortunately in this country with a "Citizens United" Supreme Court our pleas for reason will once again be drowned out by lobbying bucks, money that many of us actually helped these thankless crooks earn "back in the day" when the system was a couple orders of magnitude closer to balance. How to we get back to that condition, THAT is the real question that is crying out for answers!
There are a lot of great engineers in the states. For every engineering job opening, there are 5000-7000 applicants. Do you beleive that none of 5000 people are really qualified? It's companies way of getting cheaper labor and lowering benefits for employees, that drives requests for more engineers and scientists from other countries.
This will just get worse!
We try to compensate our own faulty education system with attracting people from abroad.
If this short-term goal is rewarded then why should there be any effort to improve our own education system?
I think there needs to be a clause that for every H1-B or L-Visa should be a fund put aside supporting education of similar discipline for people who can’t afford the $10K/$20K+ grant per year.
Having done a few college recruiting trips I can say that 99% of the grad students I meet are not US citizens. Do we send them home to get paid lower or do we hire them here in the USA where they will be paid comparable wages?
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