PolySciFi Blog

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Jumping through Hoops

Jody posts in a comment below that he's for making things harder on illegal immigrants. I don't have that much sympathy for them myself (though I think legal immigration should be much, much easier). The fact is, though, especially in border states, the economy depends on them. It shouldn't, but it does. In fact, they're a by-product of the very market forces that are supposed to fix everything, aren't they? They keep Wal-Mart clean, which keeps prices there down, and so on and so forth.

I don't have a solution or anything constructive to add to the arguments about what should be done to stop further illegal immigration, deal with the illegals who are already here, and so on and so forth. However, I have a great deal of sympathy for children of illegals, who are in America thanks to their parent's decisions, not their own. I think they represent a lot of untapped potential for America.

To illustrate, here's a story from this month's Wired about some illegal immigrants who beat M.I.T. in an engineering competition. And who now, thanks to not having access to any federal scholarship money (because of their illegal status) are now doing things like hanging sheetrock, instead of becoming engineers. You can argue in the abstract all you want, but the story's an example of human potential being wasted in America right this second. It will almost certainly be a movie, and these guys will almost certainly make it to college and beyond eventually. But right now, they're hanging sheetrock. Read the whole thing.


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