6.19.2007

The racial price of merit-based immigration

In Salvatore Labaro's response toIs the rightwing Wagging the Dog by fanning immigration hysteria?, he recommends Professor Alba's letter in today's LATimes entitled The racial price of merit-based immigration.

It's an excellent recommendation because Dr. Alba raises a hugely important issue: the negative impact on U.S. born minorities from the proposed preference for higher status immigrants.

Dr. Alba argues that changing generational demographics has begun allowing minorities to capture a growing percentage of the country's top jobs. For example, while U.S. born minorities over 50 years hold just 6% of top jobs, for the under 40 cohort that figure more than doubles to 13%. And the percentage would continue to rise as young U.S. born minorities replace aging white boomers in the job market. But all of that is imperiled under the new proposal.

If enacted, preferences for higher status immigrants would be especially devastating to innercity children of color. Gone would be any pressure to fix the nation's innercity schools and effort's to ensure equal opportunity for all.