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Robert Reich on Immigration

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor


Arizona law invites police to stop Latinos

Mounting resentment toward immigrants were evident across the land. In 2010, Arizona authorized police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone they had a "reasonable suspicion" was undocumented--in effect, inviting them to stop Latinos--and by 2011 similar efforts were under way in at least a half dozen other states. State legislators also sought to bar illegal immigrants from public colleges, and to prevent their American-born children from becoming American citizens.
Source: Aftershock, by Robert Reich, p.117 , Apr 5, 2011

Against more H-1B visas: not a long-term solution

    America’s booming IT sector is [facing] a severe shortage of skilled people. What can they do?
  1. Give stock options.
  2. Help IT professionals keep their skills sharp.
  3. Grow your own [such as a] technology and engineering institute
  4. Recruit more aggressively [in] smaller rural communities and to women and minorities.
But there’s something I wouldn’t recommend, because it’s not a long-term solution. Don’t go to Washington to fight for allowing more foreign engineers and designers to enter the US on temporary H-1B visas. That may help in the short term, but it doesn’t deal with the underlying problem. It won’t create a permanently bigger stream of IT professionals for the future.

America’s buoyant economy is a testament to the dynamism of its IT sector. But for IT to stay dynamic, more Americans will have to become a part of it.

Source: Computer World, “Coping With the Shortage” , Sep 6, 1999

Assimilation more constructive than restricting immigration

In the 1880s, the new immigrants further ignited national feelings. Some of the Americans already here wanted to close the door to the newcomers. Conveniently forgetting that their own forefathers had shared the corn with and taken the land of New England's real native Americans, the founders of Boston's Immigration Restriction League pledged, in 1893, to "prevent the destruction of American ways by unimpeded Immigration." Other Americans devised a more constructive approach. The goal was to cultivate in the immigrants a love and respect for their newly adopted country, along with an ability to speak its language and function as productive citizens.
Source: The Work of Nations, by Robert Reich, p. 32 , Feb 4, 1992

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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2014