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Can Low-Skilled Visa Workers Save the Economy ?

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I admit upfront that I wish we lived in a country where an economic argument to justify a policy that uplifts 11 million people — and reunites countless others with their families — was unnecesssary. That it would just be common sense. But politics can sometimes be ugly, and the people in decision making positions can forget that they're dealing with peoples' lives. 
 
We should continue to remind decision makers that undocumented people are indeed people, and in the meantime we can talk economics. During the battle to pass the S. 744, the Senate immigration bill's (accurately named The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Modernization Act) most divisive top lines was whether we should favor so-called "skilled" or "unskilled" immigrant workers. This was a false choice, and reveals the classism and racism that diseased S.744 from the beginning. The idea that skilled workers add value to the economy and country while "unskilled" workers are a necessary evil that should be limited because they take American jobs during a time of high unemployment is a fallacy.
 
Aside from the fact that this emphasis has moved the U.S. immigration system away from familial-based immigration to an employment-based immigration system (again, peoples' lives?), this ignores the fact that so-called "unskilled" workers usually do dangerous work for very little pay. If you think that sitting behind a computer is more difficult than picking and carrying vegetables in the sun all day, then you probably have never done it. How do you feel about this? sound off tonight on CPT. 
 

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