Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Washington Post: Enforcing the Law Would "Wreak Havoc on US Society"

Donald Trump’s immigration plan would wreak havoc on U.S. society

"REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Donald Trump, who unveiled his immigration platform over the weekend, says America’s illegal immigrants “have to go.” Although the large majority of Americans don’t agree, Mr. Trump is appealing to a more sympathetic audience: the most conservative slice of the Republican primary electorate.

So let’s take Mr. Trump’s plan at face value and examine the impact of deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.

A useful case study is California, whose economy accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and whose 2.6 million undocumented workers include almost a tenth of the state’s workforce.

For starters, the state’s farms and orchards, where a third to a half of agricultural workers are undocumented, would be crippled. So would their output, comprising more than half the fruits and vegetables consumed in this country. The labor market in construction, where about 14 percent of workers are undocumented, would be severely disrupted. Ditto for hospitality, child care and landscaping.

Mr. Trump says he would keep families together if they include legal and illegal immigrants, but they’d all “have to go.” Does that include the 13 percent of California’s K-12 students who have at least one undocumented parent? How about the U.S.-born children of nearly 4 million unauthorized immigrants nationwide, most of whom have been in the United States for well over a decade?

As a quick fix for unemployment, Mr. Trump’s plan is also a non-starter. The share of the labor force occupied by illegal immigrants in California, Nevada, Texas and New Jersey is much greater than the jobless rate in each of those states. Even if every unemployed American in those states took an undocumented worker’s job — wildly unlikely, given that most Americans are unwilling to do the dirty jobs filled by many immigrants — it would still leave hundreds of thousands jobs unfilled.

Despite his nativist rhetoric, Mr. Trump may grasp the staggering economic and social havoc that mass deportation would wreak. Hence his offhand comment, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he’d “bring them back rapidly, the good ones.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 87 percent of the United States’ undocumented immigrants — some 10 million people — have no serious criminal record. If those turn out to qualify as Mr. Trump’s “good ones,” what purpose would be served by deporting them only to “bring them back rapidly”?

What Mr. Trump proposes is nothing less than manufacturing a humanitarian upheaval on a scale rivaling the refugee crisis in Syria. Notwithstanding his cavalier rhetoric, there’s no evidence Americans would tolerate such a mass uprooting of people who have planted deep roots in this nation.
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The truth is that Mr. Trump is waging oratorical warfare on a problem whose dimensions have been shrinking for years. The undocumented population declined by nearly a million since it peaked at 12.2 million in 2007. Demographic shifts in Mexico, including a falling birth rate and better educational attainment, are dampening the impetus to leave.

By imposing higher tariffs on Mexican goods, impounding remittances sent by undocumented Mexicans to their families and canceling visas for Mexican businessmen — measures he has threatened as retaliation for Mexico’s supposed complicity in “sending” poor immigrants northward — Mr. Trump would set back Mexico’s economy. The ironic result could be to reignite illegal immigration. "
Notice that illegals are not usually referred to as illegal. They are referred to as "unauthorized"; "undocumented"; "poor"; "deep rooted". Being illegally in the USA is not a "serious" infraction. And to enforce the law would produce "havoc".

For the Left, laws apply only whenever and wherever they choose to apply them. They do not subscribe to a nation of laws; they subscribe to a nation of Leftists. And given their Ethical Relativism, any enforcement they approve will be the enforcement of "undocumented" Political Correctness as they choose to define it.

There is this side to the issue:
Uncertain local job market awaits Qualcomm workers

"There is a political undercurrent to Qualcomm’s pending workforce cuts. The company has supported immigration reform for highly skilled workers — saying it can’t find enough qualified Americans to meet its needs. Qualcomm has applied for thousands of H-1B temporary work visas for foreign workers over the years, and has received hundreds of approvals.

The company argues that half of U.S. university bachelor’s degree graduates in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are not U.S. citizens. If tech companies can’t hire these U.S.-educated foreign graduates to work in this country, the firms will be forced to move their research and innovation centers offshore where they can hire the talent they need.
Qualcomm Employment

Total global head count at end of the company’s fiscal year, including full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

Sept. 2014 31,300

Sept. 2013 31,000

Sept. 2012 26,600

Sept. 2011 21,200*

Sept. 2010 17,500

Sept. 2009 16,100

*Acquired Atheros Communications in 2011, adding roughly 2,000 workers.

But during layoffs, these claims of a shortage of American tech workers come under scrutiny.

Southern California Edison and others have taken political heat for laying off American tech workers and replacing them with H-1B workers from outsource information technology providers.

Microsoft was criticized in Congress for calling for more H-1B visas as it was cutting 7,800 jobs.

“Typically, companies hold onto their H-1B workers well after they have let huge numbers of their American workers go,” said Russell Harrison, director of government relations for IEEE USA, a technology industry trade group. “The companies will say, ‘They’re not in the same division. They are not the same type of worker.’ In some cases that is true and in some cases it isn’t.”

Harrison argues H1-B visa rules make it difficult for foreign workers at U.S. companies to change jobs. They tend to be “systemically underpaid” compared with American workers, he said, and if they are laid off, they are supposed to leave the country without recourse.
H-1B Visas

Qualcomm H-1B Visa approvals

2014: 461*

2013: 909

2012: 666

2011: 312

2010: 287

2009: 293

2014 data runs from Oct. 2013 to Dec. 2014

Source: Computerworld and Howard University Professor Ron Hira via data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“There are a lot of financial and business reasons why (companies) would want an H-1B worker over an American,” he said. “The policy question for American society is are workers being treated fairly? What IEEE USA insists is that American workers should not be discriminated against.”

Aberle said Qualcomm and other tech companies are dealing with the pool of workers that’s available. Though the company tries to move existing employees to different jobs within the company when possible, it still needs to hire the best talent for the position, he said."

I suspect that ageist discrimination plays into this, too. Tech companies are famous for laying off experienced engineers (expensive) and then hiring new graduate engineers (cheap) at the rate of two for one. A new grad - a good one - can be up to speed in a year to 18 months, and still make less than half of a twenty- or thirty-year veteran engineer.

Back in the early days of semiconductors / integrated circuits (where I worked at the time) there were virtually no engineers over 30 years old. Layoffs were common, and they generally took deadwood and older engineers. I left that industry shortly after my age, mid-thirties, became a hazard to me. I survived over 30 layoffs during my time in integrated circuits.

One year the layoffs started in March and continued every other week for the rest of the year. That resulted in many divorces and a few suicides that I was aware of. I survived them all, though, being young and doing my job, i.e., not being old or deadwood.


JBsptfn said...

In the last paragraph, that is the "churn em and burn em" philosophy that started in the Silicon Valley region in the early-80's, from what I hear.

Stan said...

It was much earlier than that. And I think it started in the aircraft industry, probably with Boeing. Every graduating engineer got a job offer from Boeing, no interview required. Boeing had layoffs quite frequently. Fortunately, there were plenty of jobs to choose from back then, and Boeing had a reputation for hiring anyone on the cheap. During my career I worked for just three companies, never an aircraft company. Never got laid off, but I did have several groups dissolved out from under me, what with project cancellations, etc. I always got other jobs in-company right away, and the company changes were voluntary.

JBsptfn said...

I didn't know it started earlier than that. I was reading an article about going back to the 40-hour work week that I found after doing a Google search (on Alternet of all places):

Alternet-Go Back to 40 hour work week

In that article, it talked about how Tom Peters promoted the Silicon Valley work ethic to the rest of America in the early-80's.