of the people, by the people and for the people” was President Abraham
Lincoln’s eloquent way of describing the relationship between the
citizens of the United States and their government in his Gettysburg
That famous quote is often repeated but there seems to be scant attention paid to what those amazing 11 words really mean.
In this day of frustration and anger that many of our fellow citizens
feel about our political leaders, do we really believe that we have a
government that is comprised of our fellow citizens who are truly
seeking to do the best for the most of our fellow Americans?
On May 12, 2011, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a news release touting the following headline:
“ICE announces expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math degree programs – Qualifies eligible graduates to extend their post-graduate training”
The news release stated the following:
WASHINGTON-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) today published an expanded list of science, technology,
engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible
graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training (OPT)
extension-an important step forward in the Obama administration’s
continued commitment to fixing our broken immigration system and
expanding access to the nation’s pool of talented high skilled graduates
in the science and technology fields.
The announcement follows President Obama’s recent remarks in El
Paso, Texas, where he reiterated his strong support for new policies
that embrace talented students from other countries, who enrich the
nation by working in science and technology jobs and fueling innovation
in their chosen fields here in the United States, as a part of
By expanding the list of STEM degrees to include such fields as
Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design,
Mathematics and Computer Science, the Obama administration is helping to
address shortages in certain high tech sectors of talented scientists
and technology experts-permitting highly skilled foreign graduates who
wish to work in their field of study upon graduation and extend their
post-graduate training in the United States.
Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S.
colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive
training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who
graduate with one of the newly-expanded STEM degrees can remain for an
additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.
Last week Senator Charles Schumer, the Senior Senator from New York
and Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, conducted a hearing
into the H1-B Visa Program which enables foreign, high tech workers to
come to the United States and take jobs in the high tech industries. The
aim of the hearing was to find ways of bringing still more high tech
workers to the United States.
What is unfathomable is why would our nation’s leaders insist on
encouraging more foreign students to acquire educations that would
qualify them to take high tech jobs and, in fact, come to the United
States to compete with Americans who are losing their jobs at a time
when our economy continues to plummet and our nation teeters on the
bring of insolvency?
The Space Shuttle program has ended, and, as a direct consequence,
thousands of American scientists, engineers, technicians and computer
programmers have lost their jobs in this once shining example of
American engineering prowess and leadership, as have other such high
tech professionals engaged in other jobs. Yet, rather than focusing on
enabling these high tech professionals to keep their careers alive, our
government appears determined to bring in more competition for our own
When a high tech worker loses his (her) job, if they don’t find a job
within the high tech industries in which they have been employed, they
may lose their viability because technology keeps advancing. It is a bit
like stepping off a moving sidewalk. Step off the moving sidewalk and
you will have a hell of a time keeping up with the advances being made.
When an engineer or computer programmer loses his (her) job, more than a
job may be lost – in a relatively short amount of time, the loss of
such a job can render such a highly educated and highly skilled
professional their competitive edge in the industry they may have worked
for decades. That loss can cost these professionals their very careers.
We are told about the unemployment rate which, incidentally, fails to
reflect the large numbers of Americans who have run out of benefits and
have given up looking for jobs, but we never hear about
“under-employed” Americans who have lost their careers and now work on
jobs that pay a fraction of what they had previously earned in their
high tech careers, before the “bottom dropped out.”
Virtually nothing is being said about how importing foreign workers
can have a devastating impact on the professional lives of our fellow
Americans who may have helped our nation maintain its leadership in
critical areas of science and technology.
Is this a demonstration of “Government of the people, by the people or for the people?”
The goal of foreign workers is to send as much of the money they earn
in the United States back to their families in their home countries.
This makes perfect sense for them but does tremendous harm to the
economy of our country when more than $100 billion per year is wired
from the United States to the countries from which these foreign workers
come. Still more money is transmitted in other ways. This is money that
is not earned by Americans or resident aliens and money that is not
spent in America or invested in America.
On April 30, 2009, Senator Schumer conducted a hearing into the need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform – a proposal that the vast majority of American citizens are strongly (and wisely) opposed to.
Schumer invited Alan Greenspan to provide testimony at this hearing.
Greenspan’s policy of pushing subprime mortgages and other such policies
are believed to have been behind the economic crisis that confronts our
nation. In his prepared testimony, Greenspan made it clear that he has
America’s Middle Class in his sights.
I ask that you consider this excerpt from Greenspan’s testimony at that hearing over two years ago:
The quantity of temporary H-1B visas issued each year
is far too small to meet the need, especially in the near future as the
economy copes with the forthcoming retirement wave of skilled baby
boomers. As Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, succinctly testified
before Congress in March 2007, “America will find it infinitely more
difficult to maintain its technological leadership if it shuts out the
very people who are most able to help us compete.” He added that we are
“driving away the world’s best and brightest precisely when we need them
Our skill shortage, I trust, will ultimately be resolved through
reform of our primary and secondary education systems. But, at best,
that will take many years. An accelerated influx of highly skilled
immigrants would bridge that gap and, moreover, carry with it two
First, skilled workers and their families form new households.
They will, of necessity, move into vacant housing units, the current
glut of which is depressing prices of American homes. And, of course,
house price declines are a major factor in mortgage foreclosures and the
plunge in value of the vast quantity of U.S. mortgage-backed securities
that has contributed substantially to the disabling of our banking
The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of
income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly
skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill
shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor
force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage
pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite
whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by
immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such
restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.
Greenspan’s statement makes it clear that he believes that Americans
are overpaid! If you doubt this, please reread that final paragraph from
Greenspan’s testimony. In calling for Americans to compete with
foreign workers to “…reduce at least some of our income inequality” is immoral and illegal.
For Greenspan to refer to Americans who have skills and/or education as being the “privileged elite” shows just how much he resents his fellow citizens who have pursued the “American Dream!”
He also claims that ultimately the skill shortage of America will be
addressed over time as more Americans become more educated. That is
absurd! Once wages are driven down, why would anyone waste time and
money acquiring a very costly education to earn little more than a high
school graduate? (Remember, his goal is to reduce the income inequality
between those with an advanced education and those who don’t have such
an education?) Indeed, in all too many instances, foreign high tech
workers are not better qualified than the American counterparts; it is
that they are willing to work for far lower wages!
Greenspan noted that an influx of aliens would enable houses that are
vacant to be sold to these foreign workers – perhaps there he is
correct! As Americans lose their homes to foreclosure these foreign
workers who will take the jobs of Americans they displace will move into
the homes vacated by Americans driven into poverty when they lost their
jobs that they were unable to replace!
The American Dream was the embodiment of the idea that, in America,
anyone could succeed if he (she) acquired a good education or
specialized skills and worked hard. While it is true that our nation was
built by immigrants, what is ignored is that what truly distinguished
the United States of America from all other countries was our nation’s
large and upwardly mobile Middle Class. This is what opened the doors
for all Americans irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity or gender!
In the most recent rendition of the Superman movies, Perry White
truncated the statement about “Truth, Justice and the American Way” and
reduced it to “Truth, Justice and all that stuff!”
The “American Way” was egalitarianism promoted by education,
diligence. Chutzpah and luck certainly did not hurt! Certainly this a
bit more significant than “all that stuff!”
Destroy the Middle Class and you destroy our nation! America’s Middle
Class has not only been the envy of the world, it provided an
unparalleled consumer base that bought the stuff companies cranked out!
Destroy the Middle Class and the nation that served as the role model to
the world will be a world power no more! The decline of the Middle
Class will also end the greatest consumer nation the world has even
known. As more companies close their doors because the consumer base
they counted upon for their profits has evaporated, our nation will
continue its downward spiral!
Today American kids and their futures are being ignored by our
politicians. Many politicians promote a bogus “DREAM Act” that they
claim would help illegal alien children – never mind that the age cutoff
Yet no one talks about seeking American kids of all races, religions
and ethnicities who have the intellect and the fire in their bellies to
excel but because of economic issues will likely never see the inside of
a university unless they get a job sweeping the hallways of the
building on those universities campuses.
When talented and highly motivated American children of all races,
religions and ethnicities fail to live up to their potentials, they
suffer and America suffers.
The way to break the cycle of poverty in America is to provide
pathways to success for American workers and their children before we
provide “pathways to United States citizenship” to illegal aliens.