I haven’t posted much on immigration in a while, but this article touched a nerve. The above-linked article tells the story of hundreds of Filipino teachers imported by the state of Louisiana through an unscrupulous “placement firm” in a scheme that barely rises above human trafficking.
What gets me is that this has taken place over the last three years – a period during which the country has barely avoided another Great Depression, while unemployment has soared over 10% and while thousands of fine teachers have been laid off all over the country. And the federal government is complicit, allowing its H-1B visa program, supposedly designed to import skills not available in the U.S., to be exploited by corporate scam artists.
I’m sure that Louisiana would complain that they can’t get teachers to relocate from places like Detroit. So then how does one explain that teachers are willing to relocate from halfway around the world? And would anyone dare to suggest that the Philippines turns out better-qualified teachers than the U.S.? That doesn’t wash with the fact that the best-qualified students from foreign countries come to the U.S. for their education.
This is all about school systems being too cheap to pay teachers wages attractive enough to motivate them to relocate, taxpayers being unwilling to support their school systems (because of steady downward pressure on wages and benefits) and apathetic politicians growing fat on corporate largesse.
If I were president, I’d bring the whole H-1B visa program to a screeching halt with an executive order on day one.