Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Immigration is far more complex than simply saying "ship em all back." I mentioned in an earlier post that 60% of our engineering graduate students are foreign born. A significant percentage of these students cannot stay in America when they graduate. As Bill Gates points out, we desperately need these people to help us in jobs that native born Americans are not filling.

If you agree with my statement that immigration is a complex issue, then ask yourself why we have a simplistic quota system regarding immigration. Also ask yourself why no one is working with the countries on a reasonable immigration policy. For instance why have we not heard of any high level discussion between our government and Mexico, or Central American countries? If immigration is such a "hot" issue then why are we not trying to do something constructive to solve it reasonably. Where is John McCain on this? He throws a bone to the "fence people" and then intimates that the issue is more complex.

John McCain on immigration:

"As president, I will secure the border. I will restore the trust Americans
should have in the basic competency of their government. A secure border is an
essential element of our national security. Tight border security includes not
just the entry and exit of people, but also the effective screening of cargo at
our ports and other points of entry.
But a secure border will contribute to
addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also:

Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and Latin America who reject the siren call of authoritarians like Hugo Chavez, support freedom and
democracy, and seek strong domestic economies with abundant economic
opportunities for their citizens.

Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies -- keeping government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting unnecessary regulatory burdens -- so American businesses can hire and pay the best.

Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep employers in business and our economy on top. It should provide skilled Americans and immigrants with opportunity. Our education system should ensure skills for our younger workers, and our retraining and assistance programs for displaced workers must be modernized so they can pursue those opportunities

Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which
includes learning English, American history and civics, and respecting the
values of a democratic society.

Recognize that America will always be that
"shining city upon a hill," a beacon of hope and opportunity for those seeking a
better life built on hard work and optimism."

Barack Obama's Plan

"Create Secure Borders
Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System
Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows
Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

Work with Mexico
Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration."

Both of these candidates seem to have a better grasp of the complexity of the issue than we have seen these past seven years.

I love the quote I heard last week, "Show me a 50' fence and I will show you a 51' ladder."

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