The Washington Post has a story today that explains not only why educated professionals get squeezed by our mass-immigration system, but also how this ties in with income inequality, outsourcing, and affirmative action grants for government contractors.
By way of background, there has been a PR effort recently by backers of the “start up” visa to get legislation moving in Congress that would dramatically expand legal immigration by “skilled” professionals who, it is alleged, are now fleeing the U.S. after graduation and taking their skills with them.
According to this line of analysis, they are leaving not because of our tax policy in the U.S., not our regulatory policy, not our employment law, and not our health care system. Instead, it’s our immigration system that’s supposedly to blame.
Does that claim bear up? Let’s take a look at the immigrant entrepreneur given a brief cameo in the Washington Post story on government contractors. Anita Talwar immigrated to the U.S. from India and eventually started her own business, Advanced Management Technology Inc (AMTI). Soon, she received a contract from the FAA in 1992. Eventually, AMTI grew into a $100 million dollar a year company and was sold in 2004. In 2002, AMTI won a “Disadvantaged Business Entrepreneur Award” from the Department of Transportation. The Post story says Talwar “shrewdly took advantage of programs for minority-owned small businesses and rode a boom in federal contracting.”
Is “shrewdly” using minority-set aside programs intended for disadvantaged American citizens the kind of entrepreneurship that backers of an entrepreneur green card intend to promote? Probably not. But, the Post story doesn’t stop there. It also profiles a skilled American “knowledge worker” now tending bar for the millionaire government contractors in Virginia.
“[Kimberley] Sisco used to consider herself solidly middle class. But when the economy tanked, her job as a graphic designer was outsourced to Indonesia, and her husband was unable find work as a handyman.”
So, in a nutshell, skilled private sector American workers are unemployed due to the recession; immigrant “entrepreneurs” make hundreds of millions from affirmative action government contracts; and total income inequality in the D.C. region skyrockets, as noted in the Post. It quotes James Galbraith, a government professor at the University of Texas and director of its Inequality Project, “Do you have a community of insiders that has a hammerlock on their share of the public resources? I think the answer is yes,” he says.
With so many positive outcomes it’s a wonder Congress hasn’t already fast tracked this legislation.