Monday, August 9, 2010

A Brief Note on Immigration

I will probably find myself repeating this again and again, so I might as will have a post that I can refer back to frequently.

One of the many tropes associated with the illegal immigration debate is that these people have somehow "jumped the line", as if USCIS maintains a queue containing millions of non-college educated Mexicans, Guatemalan, El Salvadorians, Somalis, Chinese, and so on, who would like to migrate to the US but need a visa to do so. Of course, when I say it like that it sounds absurd. Current immigration law makes it close to impossible for non-college educated foreigners to gain permission to work in the United States legally anywhere outside of the agriculture sector (and even there, the supply of work permits outstrips demand). The state of current law is that there is no line for these workers to wait in.

(Photo of immigrants standing in line at Ellis Island from the NYPL collection)
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