Young illegal immigrants’ amnesty could tighten competition for jobs, college

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    Jun 17, 2012 6:21 PM GMT
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/young-illegal-immigrants-amnesty-could-tighten-competition-for-jobs-college/2012/06/15/gJQAmgV4fV_story.html

    President Obama has just opened a floodgate of opportunity for young illegal immigrants in the United States, but could it squeeze the aspirations of legal Americans in the process?

    Across the nation Friday, immigrant advocates and Hispanic youth groups hailed Obama’s decision to offer legal status to some undocumented immigrants under 30 as a watershed in U.S. immigration history and a long-sought victory for ambitious youths denied a chance to realize the American dream.

    “I thank God for this day. It has changed my whole life,” Jorge Acuna, 19, a college student in Silver Spring who came to the United States with his family as a child, told a cheering crowd outside the White House on Friday afternoon, minutes after Obama announced the new policy. Last spring, the community college student was nearly deported to his native Colombia. Now, under the amnesty, he will be able to pursue his degree in engineering.

    But opponents of illegal immigration warned that the policy could create significant new competition for jobs and university slots at a time of nationwide recession and numerous states’ efforts to curb public spending.

    “I see a tidal wave coming,” said Brad Botwin, president of Help Save Maryland, a group that opposes legalization for undocumented immigrants. “Half of our college graduates today can’t find jobs, and the unemployment rate for high-school-aged Americans is extremely high. This is unfair to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who are out there struggling to get ahead.”

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    Under the new policy, as many as 1.4 million undocumented immigrants under age 30 will be able to apply for the amnesty, allowing them to work and attend college legally. To be eligible, they must have been in the United States for five years, have no criminal record, and attend high school or college or be a military veteran.

    The policy does not provide permanent legal residency, but it protects those who qualify from being deported and gives them a chance to renew their new status every two years. It also does not grant any public benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Federal law already grants all undocumented immigrants the right to a public-school education and emergency hospital care.

    The new policy could entail additional costs for administration and enforcement, however, and put pressure on state systems of higher education to meet growing demand for slots.

    But it could also bring new revenue. Many illegal workers are paid in cash, and taxes or other costs are not deducted. One congressional study found that the Dream Act, a stalled proposal to grant legal residency to young immigrants who graduate from high school and attend college or join the military, would add $2.3 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.
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    Jun 17, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    Thank God you're not immigrating then. icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 17, 2012 7:48 PM GMT
    I thought competition was supposed to be a good thing when it comes to jobs and colleges. I mean I for one would like my university to be much more competitive. It makes my degree that I am seeking worth much more. If people know that the students coming out of my university were given a place/degree there because of merit instead of an arbitrary location of birth doesn't that make my university better off?

    Besides of all the people at my university I only know 1 undocumented person and he graduated on the deans list. Also, I can guarantee you that I know plenty documented Americans who dropped out who took places from qualified people.

    Competition can be a good thing! Isn't that what Capitalism is supposed to be about?
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    Jun 17, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
    SbStudent saidI thought competition was supposed to be a good thing when it comes to jobs and colleges. I mean I for one would like my university to be much more competitive. It makes my degree that I am seeking worth much more. If people know that the students coming out of my university were given a place/degree there because of merit instead of an arbitrary location of birth doesn't that make my university better off?

    Besides of all the people at my university I only know 1 undocumented person and he graduated on the deans list. Also, I can guarantee you that I know plenty documented Americans who dropped out who took places from qualified people.

    Competition can be a good thing! Isn't that what Capitalism is supposed to be about?
    Not when a 'capitalist' feels threatenedicon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
    SbStudent saidI thought competition was supposed to be a good thing when it comes to jobs and colleges. I mean I for one would like my university to be much more competitive. It makes my degree that I am seeking worth much more. If people know that the students coming out of my university were given a place/degree there because of merit instead of an arbitrary location of birth doesn't that make my university better off?

    Besides of all the people at my university I only know 1 undocumented person and he graduated on the deans list. Also, I can guarantee you that I know plenty documented Americans who dropped out who took places from qualified people.

    Competition can be a good thing! Isn't that what Capitalism is supposed to be about?


    The US hasn't been a capitalist country since the 1970s. It's a crypto-fascist state run by corporations, whose main goal it to eliminate not only regulation but also competition.
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    Jun 17, 2012 8:43 PM GMT
    Ohhh god i was being flippant with my statement about capitalism. It was just supposed to be a joke on how people who advocate for free market capitalism in speech simultaneously advocate against free market capitalism reality. But i guess forums aren't really good mediums for sarcasm...