Monday, March 10, 2008

"Waste" By Any Other Name

. . . weekend SF Gate article about highly educated Indian women, married to highly skilled professionals, who are not allowed to work because of their immigration status:

[There are] thousands of women who came to the United States on the coattails of their husbands' H-1B visas, granted to highly skilled professionals to fill jobs at the software companies and technology labs of Silicon Valley. But under the conditions of their H-4 dependent visas, spouses are not allowed to work here. Often highly educated and skilled, they find themselves in the uncomfortable position of social and financial dependency on their husbands, while struggling to adjust to life in a new country.

. . . followed by a comment from "jmp":

I know most will disagree with this comment because Xenophobia is all the rage now...but it is sad that the people who grow up as citizens in this country are raised to be too stupid (through homeschooling, poor schooling, etc.) to be much use except for working at WalMart or aspiring to be the next drugged out celebrity. Whereas the highly talented and educated people that come here ready to work hard and contribute high-value to our economy and not allowed to. It is no wonder we are slowly being crushed in the global economy.

. . . Tom?

What is the Fletcher Perspective on this one?


Blogger Tom Fletcher said...

I'm inclined to agree more than disagree with "jmp." It's a waste when these spouses can't work. I remember sharing coffee with some people in that position when I worked back in a lab (they were grad students' wives). The most they could do was volunteer to be a docent at the Norton Simon art museum. As if adjusting to a new country wasn't hard enough, they also had to adopt an entirely different set of aspirations.

I wouldn't blame homeschooling for educational problems though. I'm of the impression that the education here is pretty impressive; someone just has to make it clear to a child why they should care to get one.

I'd also add that we aren't being "slowly crushed." The world is catching up to America's post-war dominance. I can't think of an economy in the world I'd rather work and live in though.

3/11/2008 6:47 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I assume the policy is basically motivated by a concern that these women will crowd qualified American's out of jobs. Is that really true? Wouldn't employing a greater number of highly educated people tend to increase the number of jobs for the less educated . . . which is unemployment strikes hardest?

3/11/2008 10:23 AM  

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