I wrote a long post over at NaPP on my conflicting views on the subject. It relates to a recent study on STEM career opportunities that has gotten some attention.

The thing is, it’s easy and socially convenient, to be a writer in non-conservative political magazines in diverse and liberal echelons of culture and stake out a position in favor of bringing in more talent from abroad. It’s easy because it’s not something a lot of people that matter to you are likely to speak up in protest about.

And to be honest, it’s easy for me to make these arguments. I don’t live in such an area, and I write for The League, but I nonetheless inhabit a cultural and economic orbit where I am not made particularly vulnerable by a potential influx of foreign workers competing with me for jobs. My wife’s job makes my career (or lack thereof) a lot less important. But more than that, the concerns Weissman outlines are not something I see, for the most part. At first thought, nearly every STEM person I know but one (who just recently graduated with a PhD in astrophysics, which is something of a niche) is doing well financially. Even those without college degrees! Back in Colosse, I know more people that are having trouble hiring (and yes, at reasonable rates with reasonable requirements) than I do people that just can’t find work.

But then I think again, and I think of the people in Deseret. Those people are struggling, with or without a degree. I am tempted to dismiss this because, well, they live in Deseret. And not in its capital and not in its tech corridor. What can you expect? But maybe, when I think a third time, that situation is more common than I think, and Colosse is less common than I think. And I wonder how much of what I believed is the comfortable generosity of the relatively invulnerable.

Because at fourth thought, I think back to when I was working at Mindstorm, a very large software company in the Pacific Northwest. I think of the fact that I worked in a department where maybe 20% of my coworkers were American. And this was a job that didn’t require a particularly high IQ. It required job-specific knowledge that could be taught. But why teach it when you can just bring it in?

Though discussion of immigration is typically discouraged here, feel free to discuss it as long as we can avoid talking about “racists!”, “treason!”, and “destroyers of civilization!”


Category: Statehouse

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2 Responses to Trumwill On Immigration

  1. says:

    It seems that the commenters on your post hold stronger pro-immigration opinions than you. Does that site have a particular political bias (e.g. libertarian) or demographic appeal (e.g. techies) that would tilt the comments in that direction? Sorry if it’s a stupid question, but I’m not very familiar with NaPP or the League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

    • trumwill says:

      Yeah, the politics of The League (including NaPP) are pretty vociferously pro-immigration. I decided not to post on the front page to avoid some of the fallout from what I had to say. The politics of the site mostly run a spectrum from libertarian-to-liberal, both wings being pro-immigration. The experience has actually reminded me of my conservative streak, or my sometimes-conservative approach to things.

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