The Corner

Dems Prefer Unskilled over Skilled Immigrants

Representative Lamar Smith’s visas-for-tech-grads bill I wrote about the other day failed to get the required two-thirds majority in the House yesterday. Even though 30 Democrats voted for it, the others were opposed because the bill repurposed the 55,000 annual visas now given at random, with only the most minimal and unverifiable educational requirement (via the diversity lottery), and would give them instead to foreign students receiving graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Even though major tech companies were behind the measure, the Democrat opposition was actually led by Silicon Valley’s representative, Zoe Lofgren, whose own bill would have kept the moronic visa lottery in place and increased legal immigration by 50,000 persons a year. She said Smith’s bill had “another, in my opinion, sinister purpose — to actually reduce legal immigration levels.”

This is ridiculous on two levels. First, Smith’s bill would not have reduced legal immigration, as much as I might want such an outcome; all it did was reallocate existing visas to purposes that are more productive. Second, the assumption is that all legal immigration is, by definition, good and more is, by definition, better. This unwillingness to distinguish between different immigration categories was nicely summarized by former Puerto Rican Socialist Party member Luis Gutierrez, now a Democrat congressman from Chicago, who said last week: “Republicans are only willing to increase legal immigration for immigrants they want by eliminating legal immigration for immigrants they don’t want.”


Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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