Columnist Jay Ambrose wrote a piece titled “We Don’t Need More Unskilled Immigrants.” Noting that the current system of selecting immigrants has been a “disaster,” he pointed to the very heart of the growth of America’s immigrant population, which is coming to a great extent from Middle Eastern countries, not Latin America. While noting the preference for English-speakers in President Donald Trump’s immigration plan, Ambrose wrote:

“Although a mix of many ideas, its main feature has been referred to as nepotism writ large: It extends special invitations to those who are relatives of citizens. While all sorts of marvelous people have arrived under this plan (and the Trump plan will continue to give preferences to spouses and minor children), it has also become a means of importing poverty to the benefit of no one.”

Here, Ambrose is referring to what has also been called chain-migration. This phenomenon by which immigrants follow family members from their country of origin to the United States is based on American immigration policy that is founded on the principle of broadly defined family reunification. In other words, immigrants are able to sponsor their relatives back home to be admitted as immigrants to the United States. In other words, many immigrants are admitted because they have a sponsoring relative, rather than what they might be able to contribute to our country. 

The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) once studied the issue of chain migration. USCIR proposed limiting family-sponsored immigration to only the spouse and minor children of an American citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR), and the parents of a U.S. citizen (as long as they are supported by the sponsor). It recommended an upper limit of 400,000 such immigrants per year. This compares with family-sponsored immigration in 2001 of 676,107 people. The proposal would eliminate visas for siblings of U.S. citizens and adult children of both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs).

Ambrose decried what he sees as “importing poverty” by admitting unskilled persons from the Third World. He claimed that the vast numbers of “mostly Hispanic arrivals were virtually the sole cause of increases in American poverty rates,” who also lack necessary education and skills. 

Ambrose cited a study by Prof. George Borjas of Harvard University, who he said shows that legal and illegal unskilled immigrants drive down the wages of native unskilled workers by “half trillion dollars a year.” And has been noted by others, such as author Ann Coulter, immigrants get significant amounts of government assistance while paying very low taxes. He put the figure at $50 billion annually charged to taxpayers to make up the difference.

Noting that skilled workers are needed, he said that 5.6 million jobs requiring special competence remain unfilled. “Trump has a plan to help fix that through more vocational training, but also through his growth-spurring merit plan,” he wrote. By stopping the flow of illegal aliens, boosting vocational programs, and allowing more highly skilled workers to enter the country, Ambrose said that the accommodation problems faced throughout the country, especially in schools, may be effectively addressed. “That’s something Trump said he would consider when the illegal flow was stopped (we’re making headway) and legal immigration was reformed.”




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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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