Uncle George Wants YOU!

Bush at Dupont
Bush in DelawareWashington Post

President Bush was in Delaware yesterday, speaking to a group of Dupont employees about the need for increased foreign labor.

“We’ve got to expand what’s called H1-B visas,” he said. “It makes no sense to say to a young scientist from India, ‘you can’t come to America to help this company develop technologies that help us deal with our problems’.”

This is not the first time Bush has publicly called for an increase in the H1 visa quota.

In Minnesota last year, he told employees at the 3M headquarters in St. Paul that the US was in urgent need of highly skilled/educated professionals. “One way so one way to deal with this problem, and probably the most effective way, is to recognize that there’s a lot of bright engineers and chemists and physicists from other lands that are either educated here, or received an education elsewhere but want to work here.”

Sound familiar? It should. Importing the world’s best and brightest has long been the approach to handling nagging problems like declining numbers of American scientists/engineers and the continued underperformance of our schoolchildren in the math-and-sciences.

Vijay Prashad, author of The Karma of Brown Folk, has called the H1-B visa system a type of “high-tech coolie indenture servitude.”

“Oppression by immigration is my particular heart-break,” Prashad has said. “I’m not against people coming to the U.S. on H1B to make money. What I’m interested in is the hypocrisy of the system that brings them here, draining labor from overseas, then stigmatizes them as taking jobs away, not creating real change for the domestic population, and fueling hopes of thinking they can stay on. It’s fine to make strategic, financial choices. But the reality is that there’s no going back. Working here transforms you —you come at the peak of your life and to go back to where there are not as many opportunities, to have to start again with fewer prospects — that in itself needs to be talked about. Is that a good global civilization? Is that a good society for us?”

65,000 H1-B visas are given to skilled professionals each year.

January 26, 2007
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  1. January 26, 2007, 5:18 pm aditi

    wow. too bad for bushy that my lovely state of delaware is largely economically liberal, cuz dey ain’t never gon’ go for dat shiii. but i guess it’s no coincidence that he’d talk to all the desi and east asian chemists working at dupont. i do smell a hint of what prashad talks about. even lisa lowe has written about similar 1965 immigration laws as discriminatory. i fear the ramifications of it all… :/