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10/23/2005

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Anonymous

"Whatever are all the forces that determine earnings, immigration of many skilled workers will lower the wages of native-born skilled workers. There is no way around this fundamental proposition. Whether such immigration lowers these wages by a lot, however, does depend on the degree of substitutability of different classes of workers, how many fewer Americans train for these skilled jobs, and other factors."

When immigrants from Central America and Japan entered the baseball market over the past 15 years did baseball players salaries fall? When immigrants entered the economics professors market over the last 30 years did the wages of economics professors fall? In what "skilled" profession has the introduction of immigrants actually caused wages to fall? It may be true that less Americans are playing baseball and less Americans are working as economics professors, but the wages have not fallen. We have also not seen any backlash of baseball players or economics professors to exclude immigrants. I think that Dr. Becker is touching upon this relationship when he says "substitutability", but it's one thing to argue that wages will fall and another to say that Americans with lesser ability will no longer find jobs in these particular fields.

Anonymous

Dr. Posner wrote a weak statement concerning the current wages of teaching/research assistants and the immigration laws that drive these subpar wages. Dr. Becker ignored this subject entirely as have all prominent professors. Why? I think that is very telling given the labor unrest at major universities including Yale, Columbia, and NYU - to name a few. What would an eminent economist say on this subject? I guess we may never know.

Anonymous

"I am very pro-immigration."

If I made 10K+ for an hour lecture while a foreigner kepy my office hours, I'd be "pro-immigation" too.

Tired Immigrant

"I do not believe workers under H-1B program are "exploited"-they do quite well economically- but they would have more commitment to this country if they were allowed in permanently."

That is exactly correct. It is better for both the immigrant and the U.S. Also, if is more just. The uncertainity is unbelievable.

I think the process should work like this:
1) Come in on H1
2) After having shown taxable-earnings over 2 full years of (say) $30,000 or more per year, you can apply for permanent residency.
3) After a medical and FBI test, you should immediately receive an "EAD", and also a future date (even if it is years away) when you will get a Green Card. The only things that should deny the Green Card should be if one commits a felony (or whatever the term is) in the mean time.

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