Last week I posted a question for the presidential candidates in the first debate. In short I asked, “At a time when advanced science and technology degrees are in high demand globally what will you do to allow for more skilled immigrant workers to stay in the United States?”
With that in mind comes a column by Esther Cepeda which appeared in the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal which underscores the issue, and I feel only further demands an answer from Mitt Romney and President Obama.
The terrible irony is that America desperately needs young immigrants with little education as laborers. Last spring, a University of Georgia report projected that 2011 figures will show that the state’s economy lost $391 million due to immigration law-related farm labor shortages. And that’s just one of many agriculture-driven state economies.
In stark contrast, 53.6 percent of young adults (under the age of 25) with bachelor’s degrees — 1.5 million — are currently jobless or underemployed, the highest number in 11 years. And throw this on top: According to the Kauffman Foundation, immigrant entrepreneurs employed about 560,000 workers and generated about $63 billion in sales from 2006 to 2012.
The numbers simply don’t add up. Who in their right mind sends away our most highly educated young people, the ones who possess degrees in the disciplines that U.S.-born students simply don’t have interest in — or the chops for?
And who willingly chokes our own farms by not allowing in enough immigrant laborers while, at the same time, letting discussions of the hasn’t-passed-in-11-years DREAM Act dominate the immigration portion of the upcoming presidential election?
It’s obvious that not only are our immigration laws broken — so is our capacity for common sense.