April 21, 2006


Overqualified Immigrant (Ilya Shapiro, 21 Apr 2006, TCS)

If the federal government ever gets its act together and passes a much-needed immigration reform, I'm giving up my legal career and taking up a profession that will actually allow me to become a U.S. citizen. Like gardening. Or construction. Or anything else that counts as "unskilled."

Wanna bet?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2006 11:20 AM

As a matter of fact, no immigration reform is needed. Like gun control, the laws are there, nobody enforces it. Politicians pretend to do something about a contentious election issue and pass some more laws that nobody enforces. Existing laws is: the INS (ICE) decides which skill is needed in the US, and gives work permits - (H-1) visas - to those who have the skill. Since we have more lawyers (legal career) than we need, of course it's better off that the author gives up his legal career if he wants to become citizen. Eons ago, before Hong Kong was returned to China, some Hong Kong physicians actually learned to become jewel designers who were eligible to emigrate to Australia, while a British trained doctor was not.

Posted by: ic at April 21, 2006 12:09 PM

This is a VERY common complaint by non-Mexican immigrants. I've known various people over the years - Bangladeshis, Nigerians, Poles - all say the same thing. The US immigration policy is de facto controlled by Mexico City, not the American people, and it is run to benefit Mexico, not the United States.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at April 21, 2006 12:12 PM


The laws are the problem that needs reform (repeal).

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2006 12:37 PM

This whole thing starts to make sense if you look at the current system as a job protection racket for while collar workers(Who, amazingly are the ones running the system now!).

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at April 21, 2006 1:20 PM

And all those professionals are the ones who benefit from the hiring of cheap gardeners, cooks, housekeepers, dishwashers, and day laborers.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 21, 2006 2:37 PM

Neither gardening nor construction are "unskilled", if done properly. Mr. Shapiro probably never tried to wire a house or put in a sink. G-d, I hate trying to do a plumbing job. Never seems to work.

Posted by: jdkelly at April 21, 2006 6:26 PM

Boo hoo! Poor dear.

Posted by: Bob at April 21, 2006 8:15 PM

A landscaper has a far better chance of faking being a lawyer than vice versa.

Posted by: erp at April 21, 2006 8:27 PM

Bob, you talkin' to me or Ilya? You do plumbing well?

Posted by: jdkelly at April 21, 2006 9:24 PM

erp, I do both well.

Posted by: jdkelly at April 21, 2006 9:25 PM

jd. Wouldn't doubt it for minute, but then you're not some elitist leftie condescending to the great unwashed.

Posted by: erp at April 21, 2006 11:16 PM