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Patents United States Science Technology

Immigrants Crucial To Innovation 463

Posted by Soulskill
from the melting-pot-of-ideas dept.
gollum123 sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study (PDF) to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation's top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. ... The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. ... The study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems."
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Immigrants Crucial To Innovation

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  • haters gonna hate, no matter what.

    • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sycodon (149926) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:36PM (#40455813)

      Lost in the demagogic hyper-bloviating is the fact that no one is really against legal immigration.

      • Re:still... (Score:4, Funny)

        by ganjadude (952775) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#40456003) Homepage
        shhhhh, that ruins the entire argument! I mean if the media was talking about immigration honestly, instead of lumping people who come here legally and those who break the law and come here illegally is pure pandering, I am surprised in this day and age it even works any more.

        no one wants to end immigration to america, our country was built on that concept, We simply want it done correctly. like our ancestors did
        • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:49PM (#40456069)

          no one wants to end immigration to america, our country was built on that concept, We simply want it done correctly. like our ancestors did

          Kill everyone who's already living here, throw the survivors in reservations, and strip-mine all the resources? 0_o

          • Yeah. We can get rid of our religious fundamentalists again and our criminals can go down under. Brilliant!

          • Re:still... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:59PM (#40456209)

            >>>Kill everyone who's already living here

            90% of the Indians were killed-off by a bacteria and viruses. The Europeans experienced the Plagues of the 400s and 700s and also the Black Death in the 1400s. The native americans did not have exposure to any of these diseases, until the 1600s and 1700s, and it wiped most of them out.

            >>>throw the survivors in reservations

            The Supreme Court TRIED to stop that practice by issuing decisions that the Indians did not need to move, but the slave-owning Democrats who were in charge (like Andrew Jackson) decided the Supreme Court can shutup, and moves the Indians anyway.

            >>>strip-mine all the resources?

            Running-out of resources sounds like a good reason to limit population growth to me (by closing the borders & only allowing legal immigrants). Else come the 2030s we won't be able to feed ourselves or heat our homes, due to scarcity.

            • Re:still... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:24PM (#40456555)
              Ahh yes, the partisan attacks. Andrew Jackson may have been a democrat, but the party has radically shifted over the ensuing centuries. Bear in mind that Lincoln was a republican.

              With that aside...I am a 2nd generation American, my grandparents were from Mexico (legally) and nobody hates illegals more than they do. I'm a pretty hard-core liberal, but when it comes to immigration policy I lean towards pragmatism. I'm a bit tired of the hypocrisy that the rest of the world shows the U.S. The Mexican-Guatemalan border is heavily guarded, and yet Mexico complains about us putting up a (ineffective) wall.

              I suppose the crux of my post is, immigration is a helluva lot more complicated than the Fox News / MSNBC talking points would have us believe.
            • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Jhon (241832) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:31PM (#40456639) Homepage Journal

              "The Supreme Court TRIED to stop that practice by issuing decisions that the Indians did not need to move, but the slave-owning Democrats who were in charge (like Andrew Jackson) decided the Supreme Court can shutup, and moves the Indians anyway."

              And this is an example of why the executive branch cannot and should not decide WHAT laws to to enforce a la cart. Imagine if Eisenhower decided he didn't like Brown v Board of Education (and he didn't) and wouldn't enforce it. These are dangers waters to wade...

              • by DesScorp (410532)

                And this is an example of why the executive branch cannot and should not decide WHAT laws to to enforce a la cart. Imagine if Eisenhower decided he didn't like Brown v Board of Education (and he didn't) and wouldn't enforce it.

                Or that if a President decided unilaterally that he'd deport illegal aliens when he was good and ready, duly enacted law be damned. Oh wait....

            • Re:still... (Score:5, Informative)

              by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:46PM (#40456843) Homepage

              It's true that the US policy wasn't to intentionally wipe out all the American Indians (although they certainly had no qualms about doing so), just to take all their stuff and force them further west until they had nothing to live on. This was different from the policy of, say, Christopher Columbus, who just wiped out all the Indians living in Hispaniola, or the French who generally set up trading posts along the rivers and left the Indian societies intact (which was a major reason the Indians tended to side with the French during the 6 Years War).

          • Better yet: let's send them to fight in a civil war!

        • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jhoegl (638955) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:00PM (#40456221)
          Your information is correct, up until the end.
          Unless you are joking, we force imported people from Africa, we took Irish off the boat to fight in the Civil War for legal status, we have allowed and exploited illegal immigrants for many years (See 1980s/1990s Asian importing of illegals).
          Do I wish everyone was legal? Yes. I think they can and are exploited, used as slaves, held for ransom, and paid small and illegal wages because of their status.
          To top that all off, if you increase your immigration without control, you will soon find yourself in a situation where food is not highly available, resources are strained, and governments can collapse. There are cases in history where this has happened.
          So... if you want to tie it up into a neat little package of "racism" or "prejudice" you are dead wrong and highly uneducated about the issue.
          • by ganjadude (952775)
            we can argue on slavery one way or another, Obviously no one is for slavery (today) but at the time, they were sold by their own people, and treated as a comodedy. Its not fun trying to defend slavery for an argument so im going to be easy but plain and simple they didnt have a choice, they were sold to us, and they were property. so yeah, you can make the case that not ALL of us came here "that way" but it would only be if you do not take the times into consideration/
        • People don't emigrate illegally because they are out to break the law, they emigrate illegally because we've essentially blocked them from coming in legally. If you set the costs of moving here legally too high for most people from a specific neighboring country, then the important distinction isn't really "Law abiding vs law breaking." You're really just trying to keep the poor people out. And if we go that way, we really should tear down the Statue of Liberty. The hypocrisy is just too much.
          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            >>>You're really just trying to keep the poor people out.

            And?
            It's our home. We have just as much right to keep people out, as we do to shoot someone who tries to break into our living rooms. (Of course it you think illegal entrance is a-okay, maybe I'll come put a tent in your living room later tonight. I need a place to sleep. Oh and some free food. Thanks.)

          • More people need to understand this view.

            People will do what people want to do. You cannot stop people from doing what they will do, but you can regulate it. If you make it illegal, you will create criminals. Criminals benefit nobody (but the prison owners). You need to regulate it so that it benefits everyone.

            People want alcohol. We banned it (the prohibition). People continued to drink, but they did so illegally, and crime flourished.
            People want drugs. We banned it (the drug war). People continue to do dr

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lost in the demagogic hyper-bloviating is the fact that no one is really against legal immigration.

        Lots of people are. That's why the quotas are so drastically small. My step-father rants all the time about Mexicans diluting our superior culture. Why don't we raise the quota of Mexican 100x? I bet we'd have very few illegals then, but that's not what you want is it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192)

        Are you really that naive? If people only cared about the legal status of immigrants, then we could pass a bill to legalize every immigrant and please everyone. The fact that conservatives refuse every opportunity to make legal immigration easier proves that it's not the legality at all that's the issue.

        • by sycodon (149926)

          Legal immigrants have passed through a series of filters that ensures they a) have marketable skills that are in demand b) are able to support themselves or have someone to support them until they are established and c) are not criminals.

          Making everyone here magically become legal is tantamount to not having immigrating laws at all, which is tantamount to not having borders.

      • If that's all the problem is, and nobody is against legal immigration, then wouldn't the most obvious solution that "no one" would be against be to legalize all immigration?

        I think that the distinction between legal and illegal is not likely to define where people draw the line because it doesn't make sense - the distinction should be defined by where people would draw it. Unless you're proposing that everyone agrees that the current law is exactly the immigration law they want, then...

      • Diversity within a culture allows for more, and usually better, ADAPTATION. That's what societal, enterprise, and individual sustainability is really all about - i.e. it's about adaptation.

        That said, this is a complex topic. We are not generating enough indigenous intellectual diversity because our education system needs a rehaul, or a completely new re-start. This probably won't happen, so we import the necessary diversity. This is one of America's strengths.

        All that aside, I think it's abominable tha

    • I have never once seen an ounce of hostility toward legal immigrants in my life. Is there really that much blurring going on between legal and illegal immigrants? There is a distinct difference, even though it tends to be left out of news reports. I bring this up because illegal immigration is the hot topic of the week and it seems like some slashdotters aren't picking up on the difference either.

      Though I have heard that legal immigrants frequently get jerked around by the system. I've heard nothing but sy
      • Re:What hate? (Score:4, Informative)

        by million_monkeys (2480792) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:06PM (#40456323)

        I have never once seen an ounce of hostility toward legal immigrants in my life.

        I have, many times. And i would be surprised if you actually haven't. A lot of it takes the form of racism. I've heard people told "go back to ________". There are numerous immigrant small business owners who suffer abuse solely because they are (or are perceived to be) not native americans. The stereotype is Korean store owners in non Korean communities, who are purportedly prime targets, especially when things start to go bad.

    • Not so much... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:42PM (#40455929) Homepage Journal
      While I'm sure there are some out there that are 'haters' as you put it....

      I think the majority of US citizens are very welcoming of legal immigrants that come here and (hopefully) want to become American citizens...and meld into our culture.

      We're especially welcoming of legal, documented immigrants that have education and skills.

      I think for the most part, the main thing we care about for our immigrants...is to just sign the fucking guest book on they way in....you know?

      • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by orthancstone (665890) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:56PM (#40456167)

        I think for the most part, the main thing we care about for our immigrants...is to just sign the fucking guest book on they way in....you know?

        If only "just signing the guestbook" was as simple as it sounds. Go look up the actual process and you'll find out really quick why some people avoid the legal route: It's loaded with bureaucratic red tape & bullshit and, in the cases of some key foreign nations that supply many of our legals and illegals, chocked full of corruption right down to the bottom level of officials.

        I appreciate those who go through all of that to do it the legal way, but the reality of illegals is similar to the whining about free markets: Gov't regulation is making it hard for many to play fairly, so many just break the rules and pay for it when they get caught.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Your post is the true source of hate; you don't like someone's argument so you revert to grade school name calling ("haters!"). In an era of ever-increasing oil prices & food prices, it makes logical sense for the U.S. (or EU or China or any country) to try and stabilize the population at a sustainable level to make the coming crisis less painful. Hell even the UN is currently holding meetings about how to stop population growth - does that make them haters?

      • Re:still... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:57PM (#40456177)

        In an era of ever-increasing oil prices & food prices, it makes logical sense for the U.S. (or EU or China or any country) to try and stabilize the population at a sustainable level to make the coming crisis less painful.

        You seem to be unaware that the populations of both the EU and the USA are increasing solely because of immigration. Birthrates in the USA and EU are already below replacement rates.

        Theoretically, China is also already into permanent population decline, but it's unclear to what extent the One Child Per Family laws are ignored/bypassed....

  • ... those who already are highly educated and working on something, we benefit at the loss to other countries.

    • This and a few things:

      - Lower quality primary and secondary school systems (less funding, less parent engagement, teachers being treated as communist enemies, etc)
      - Universities that get more prestige and money for having foreign undergrad and grad students (who tend to be cream-of-the-crop and harder working, something that cutting-edge researchers want)

      This isn't a bash on immigrants; it's a bash on ourselves.
  • So bottom line... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:30PM (#40455713)
    Legal immigration is good, illegal immigration is bad.
  • My Take (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mindscrew (1861410) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:30PM (#40455717)

    I don't have any problems with people going through to correct immigration process to come to the "land of opportunity".
    If somebody from another country want to immigrate to the US to better their education or persue better opportunities, the i fully support you as long as you go through the correct process of obtaining a visa and or citizenship.

    My beef is with the illegal immigrants that sneak into the country, work under the table and not pay their fair share of taxes, and then get government assistance and benefits at the tax payers expense.

    If you want to come to the US, then GREAT! i think that's wonderful!..... Just do it legally and pay your taxes like everybody else.

    • Re:My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

      by berashith (222128) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:37PM (#40455841)

      this is always confusing to me. People here illegally live somewhere. They have to at least pay rent, and at some point, the landlord or property owner is paying property taxes. This funds local government and schools, and seems to me that is just as much of a contribution to those as any other non-home-owning tenant. Also, working does often require a tax id or ssn. These are often forged or stolen for illegal workers. There is tax paid on the money earned, but it is credited to someone else who actually owns the ID being used. The illegal immigrant will never recoup the social security paid in this way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ganjadude (952775)
        you seem to not see many illegals, let me give you a breakdown

        every morning there is a group of around 20-30 illegals standing outside of lowes and home depot, they wait until someone drives up, points to them and says wanna make a few bucks, than they go, start hammering or doing other things that high school students should be doing to learn a hard days work, They dont pay taxes on the money cause they get paid around 80 bucks a day cash off the books. Than they send around 60 of that back to mexico, ta
      • The property taxes would have been paid regardless of the immigration status of the tenant so I'd be really careful connecting those dots. As for having a ssn to gain employment I would suggest you go to the local "work today & paid today" shop to see how vigilant those folks are with paperwork. Often the immigrants are paid in "cash" with little or no record. Also there is the local construction business. Often the immigrants are found somehow (see work today & paid today) and offered a days em
        • by berashith (222128)

          No need to be careful connecting the property tax dots. It is true that the money would be paid in any case, but it isnt as if people arent paying rent because they are illegal. Their money is paying for a residence, and money from that is paid in property taxes, and the people occupying that space are paying the EXACT same property tax for service that any other tenant would, legal or not. If there was a case that the home could/should/would be occupied by a legal resident then a case could be built, but

    • by TheSync (5291)

      If somebody from another country want to immigrate to the US to better their education or persue better opportunities, the i fully support you as long as you go through the correct process of obtaining a visa and or citizenship

      So I am a poor unskilled Mexican with no family in the US. Please post the URL to "the correct process of obtaining citizenship"?

      If you can't, than consider recognizing that for most people, there is no "correct process".

      • by Millennium (2451)

        If I'm reading things correctly, you would start with Form I-140 [uscis.gov], which covers workers of a range of skill sets, including unskilled workers.

    • Re:My Take (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:07PM (#40459123) Homepage Journal

      When I was a boy in the mid 60s, I sometimes accompanied my dad to Chinatown on business. The place was full of old, old men. No women, no children, almost no men under 60. The reason was that America had needed Chinese labor in the late 19th and earty 20th C., because the ingenuity and work ethic of Chinese workers were valued. But Americans didn't want Chinese people settling here, because they were afraid of being out-competed if those workers settled down here with their families and started businesses and farms. Until 1943 it was illegal to bring Chinese women into the country, and between '43 and '65 only a handful of Chinese immigrants were allowed in each year.

      Through the 19th and early 20th C., successful Chinese businesses were frequently attacked, sometimes whole communities driven out of town. Although many Chinese men had agricultural experience, it was impossible to farm because of vandalism by Americans. It was rough making a living. These old men had spent the prime of their lives making money under adverse conditions and sending it back home to support the families they couldn't bring in here, and now they were too old to go back home.

      So don't talk to me about the sanctity of American immigration law. It's nothing but a hypocritical crock of shit.

      For years Mexicans have been coming here illegally, and we've turned a blind eye to them because we need them. They'll work harder for less money than all but the most industrious Americans. Our comfortable middle-class lives are underwritten by "illegals" providing cheap food and services, but we won't offer them the dignity of legal status because we want to pretend we're not letting in as many brown people as we actually are. We don't really go after the people hiring these immigrants because we want the benefits of more labor than we're willing to let in.

      What do people do when faced with a stupid, hypocritical, unjust law? They break it. Speed limit on some stretch of road lower than is reasonable? I bet you go over it and never think of yourself as committing a *real* crime. But what about some poor bastard who just wants to feed his family and comes here *because we need and want him* to work like a dog to support our lifestyle? He's a criminal, right? What about the people setting immigration policies with the clear understanding that they could and should be broken? They have conspired to systematically undermine the rule of law, but we don't call *them* criminals. We re-elect them because they're tough on illegal immigration and pro-business, which means they cater to the needs of people who hire undocumented workers.

      American immigration policy is sickening. It's disgraceful, racist, and hypocritical, because we elect politicians who pander to us and undermine the rule of law.

  • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:30PM (#40455721)
    Any time I parse something like "(Partnership).*(American|(Econom(y|ic)))", I immediately lump it into the right wing propoganda bin.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      And any time I parse something like (MS)NBC, I immediately lump it into the left wing propaganda bin. Actually now that I think about it, I barely watch Cable News at all... it's all just corporate-owned propaganda. I listen mostly to RT or DemocracyNow or Infowars ("We are in the middle of an infowar." - Hillary Clinton.)

    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      Any time I parse something like "(Partnership).*(American|(Econom(y|ic)))", I immediately lump it into the right wing propoganda bin.

      The Partnership for a New American Economy [renewoureconomy.org] sounds more corporatist than hard-right; there's more than one right-wing propaganda bin, and they're not in, for example, the right-wing nativist bin.

      (Oh, and given who heads up the list of co-chairs [renewoureconomy.org], the "chair" part is a bit amusing....)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Universities like non-citizen researchers because, as indentured servants, they cost less.

    Not to imply that they aren't doing their fair share of research, but they make up a significant portion of the university research body. Of course they'll be on a significant portion of the results.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:33PM (#40455763)

    It's a nice employment loophole for corporations to get cheap labor instead of having to relocate or off-shore. It's that simple. Only problem is it raises the US unemployment rate.

    • by TheSync (5291)

      Only problem is it raises the US unemployment rate.

      So you are saying that bringing skilled people into the US will not generate additional economic benefits (which will employ more people)?

      Maybe Sergey Brin's parents should not have been allowed to come to the US. Then we wouldn't have Google. Would more programmers be employed?

      By your logic, if we kill all the programmers in the US, unemployment will fall to zero! Woo hoo!

      • So you are saying that bringing skilled people into the US will not generate additional economic benefits (which will employ more people)?

        Depends if you consider a US citizen working at a local restaurant that wouldn't exist without the demand generated by all those foreign workers a benefit. Technically yes...

        Now what if that US citizen is actually qualified to perform the work of the foreign worker? The US citizen would make even more money and his increased earnings would also generate demand for that l

      • of the local home depot are actually wealthy venture capitalists just waiting for their IPO. You should probably quit while you are behind instead of continuing to dig.
      • Bad logic. Economic benefits don't equal more employed people. The corporate wish list is, in order of preference:

        1) Don't hire people.
        2) Hire people in a cheap backwards country.
        3) Hire people in a cheap backwards state.
        4) Hire where they really have to pay a real wage.

        What you stated is trickle down economics and, if it ever was valid, is totally invalid in the age of the Internet where most corporations can hire wherever the hell they want.

  • by SGDarkKnight (253157) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:36PM (#40455819)

    You mean that the smartest and brightest are not all born in the USA? I'm shocked.

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:36PM (#40455823) Journal
    As much grumbling as there is in the tech sector over the HB1 folks (legal status), the average Joe out on the streets is far more resentful of the uneducated migrant workers picking strawberries than they are the post docs with PhDs filling up the universities. The former ones are lowering the wages at the bottom end of the scale for everyone by providing cheap, illegal labor. The smart, educated ones are a minority - and probably speak English pretty well, too.
    • As much grumbling as there is in the tech sector over the HB1 folks (legal status), the average Joe out on the streets is far more resentful of the uneducated migrant workers picking strawberries than they are the post docs with PhDs filling up the universities. The former ones are lowering the wages at the bottom end of the scale for everyone by providing cheap, illegal labor. The smart, educated ones are a minority - and probably speak English pretty well, too.

      They are grumbling about that, but often when Joe gets put in a field to pick those strawberries he quits after a day because being unemployed is better (you can Google some of the high-profile stories about this). Joe is happy to leave these jobs to the immigrants and appreciates the lower cost of food.

      On the other hand, Joe doesn't want to work in a fast food restaurant or at the grocery store for $8-10 an hour but might do it for $18-20 an hour (a lower but livable wage). This is where things get me

  • I hate it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:37PM (#40455857)

    when number of patents is used as a measure of innovation. It's only a measure of who has the most lawyers.

  • I wish people would stop conflating "immigration" with "illegal immigration". They're not the same - immigrants are the lifeblood and the roots of the US. Illegal immigration is a blight. They're different people. Folks - of all races and nationalities - that come here illegally generally are different than the people who jump through the hoops and do it legally. If they can make it in their own country they don't find the same need to break the law and come to the US.

    Regardless, the very fact that t
    • by Hatta (162192)

      In that case, if it's just the legal process, let's change the legal process. If we make legal immigration easier than illegal immigration then there would be no point to illegally immigrate. Then you have nothing to complain about, right?

  • by microbee (682094) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:45PM (#40455979)

    It takes 5 years or more for people from certain countries (India/China) to get a greencard after they obtain advanced degrees in the US.

    Politicians don't care or talk about this, because these people don't give them enough votes. That's the problem.

    • Nobody says they have to get a green card. If they want to it's their choice. Nobody is entitled to one.
  • The hungry dog gets the bone.

    The sort of people dominating STEM in the English-speaking countries are precisely the people we want: hungry, ambitious, motivated and with something to prove. We need more or them, and in any case, if we don't get them, then somebody else will. They contribute to OUR bottom line, or potentially, to somebody else, like China, who hate us and don't share our values or morals.

    People who are talented, and prepared to move countries to work hard and make the world a better place, s

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Well, as far as "STEM" goes, my question is - what patents are there that *aren't* in science, technology, engineering, or math? Maybe business processes (though even those are debatably called "industrial engineering"...)

      In any case, STEM must make up 95%+ of filed patents, so it's pretty silly to differentiate in this article.

  • Look, I am an immigrant, and I would like to believe I helped rather than hindered the innovation in my neck of the woods in America. (Though no patents, only trade secrets). But we have seen a constant barrage of postings and threads about how broken the patent system is. The speed with which patents are created is exceeding the speed of light. (But still it would not violate the theory of relativity because they carry no information ;-)). Suddenly using the number of patents issued to foreign born scienti
  • They are countering an argument against H1B abuses that keep wages low on the lower skilled tech jobs by giving examples of how, when H1Bs are used correctly, they work as intended.

    The "Partnership for a New American Economy" is lobbying for larger numbers of H1B visa to be issued so they can continue to have cheap foreign labor. I have nothing against H1B workers. In fact I work with more than a few and I enjoy working with them. They are students and scientists working on an international project and th

    • The problem with overly restricting H1B visas is that the corporate response would be to just move more operations offshore.

      That would obviously be worse.

      • The problem with overly restricting H1B visas is that the corporate response would be to just move more operations offshore.

        Could that be the real reason for free trade zones? Free as in corporations can always threaten to leave in exchange for more favorable terms from the government at the expense of its citizen.

        Besides that argument rings hollow to me. Corporations wouldn't want to give up any political clout by moving too much offshore. This would make them more or a pariah than an ally. There are plen

    • Between the arguments here, and recently watching Niall Ferguson's PBS special (http://video.pbs.org/program/civilization-west-and-rest-niall-ferguson/) about immigration's relationship to economic growth..
      it seems we have a lot of 'rednecks' and trolls on /.

      The argument that
      " mexicans don't pay taxes" > "mexicans work for less" > "mexican labor takes jobs away from US citizens"
      sounds an awful lot - to me - like
      " I download free music" > " I don't have money to pay for all t

  • It sounds like they are arguing to change a broadly applied visa policy to support the one-in-a-million foreign-born propeller-head who actually produces a patent. I am skeptical.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:05PM (#40456309) Homepage Journal

    This whole thing about immigration (legal or not) is simply ridiculous.

    Like most industrialized nations, the rate of population growth of the US is declining. We would be under replacement rate already were it not for immigration.

    The population growth rate is in decline even with the current rate of immigration [cis.org], which is at historically unprecedented levels (about twice as many as the early 1920's).

    Illegals make up a disproportionally large segment of the prison population, but overall, violent crime is way down [cbsnews.com]. (Blacks also have a disproportionally large prison population.)

    Thinking that the country cannot sustain the influx, or that these people will somehow reduce our standard of living by requiring more services, or increase the crime rate is simply not supported by the evidence.

    Then there's the innovation. Jobs come not from existing businesses, but from starting new businesses, and from new-ish businesses growing large. Immigrants tend to make the most of their opportunities by inventing new things, starting new businesses, and encouraging their children get educated and become successful (source [amazon.com]).

    Then there's the infrastructure. Illegal immigrants don't contribute to the infrastructure by paying taxes (as much), but at the same time they become a burden on the infrastructure by avoidance. They avoid the hospitals until something becomes an emergency, they don't alert the police to minor situations before they get out of hand, and so on.

    Then there's the exploitation. Illegal immigrants have no recourse when their employer abuses them.

    It would almost seem, from a completely neutral viewpoint, that just allowing illegals to become citizens would be a win all around.

    I'm not entirely sure what the problem is.

    Perhaps someone can craft a reasonable sounding "what if" scenario that outlines the sophistry for me? I'm not having any luck identifying any evidence-based reasons.

  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:07PM (#40456337) Journal

    the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math

    As opposed to all of those patents in English lit and women's studies, I suppose...

    Rob

  • First, let me say that I have no problem with immigrants or doubt that they make a huge contribution to... everything.

    That said, they're counting any situation where immigrants "played a role"... so if the project had 50 people in it and one of the junior members was an immigrant, would this thing have counted that into their vague as hell statistics?

    See, these are the worst sort of stats. You can make these say anything depending on how you play with the numbers.

    I'm to the point now where I don't even want

  • There has been at least one bill in recent years--HR 3012 [govtrack.us]--which would have made legal immigration easier for highly skilled workers, and which was passed with an overwhelming majority in the House (389/15), only to be placed on hold indefinitely by Sen. Chuck Grassley [senate.gov] in the Senate. The way I see it, 389 votes in favor of such reform suggests that the majority of Americans support such a move, but there seem to be many (largely) political hurdles to overcome before anything concrete actually gets done abou

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