The Wall Street Journal and Edward Alden are at it again. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124442941032893169.html Apparently there is some huge backlog of immigrant visas or non-immigrant visas, or thousands of Indians and Chinese stranded, respectively, in India and China. Fancy that, Indians in India and Chinese in China. Like Baraka Hussein Obama and his hate America Apology Tour, Edward Alden took a hate America Immigration Tour.
Alden alleges that there are thousands stranded in their home countries because of a policy of delaying the entry of aliens into the U.S. He states: "In recent months I have been in contact with many individuals caught in this Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Most are scientists and engineers who have earned advanced degrees from U.S. universities and are (or were) working for American companies in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and other centers of the U.S. economy".
But then goes on to claim: "One had been a researcher at Intel on the latest generation of chip designs; he'd won a national prize for his Ph.D. dissertation for outstanding research in electronic and photonic materials. Another had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and was doing post-doctoral research at Emory University on vaccine immunology. Still another was a quantitative analyst for a U.S. hedge fund".
And then: "The U.S. scientific enterprise depends enormously on talented foreigners. Foreign students and researchers, especially from India and China, comprise more than half of the scientific researchers in the U.S. They earn 40% of the Ph.D.s in science and engineering, and 65% of the computer science doctorates. If we drive them away, the companies that depend on such expertise will leave with them, taking thousands of other jobs that would have been filled by Americans."
As a clever America hater, he first deliberately diverts the reader by confusing non-immigrant workers, or is it immigrant workers, he does not say which, and they are two very different things, with students.
Then he claims that: "Last week, in an encouraging sign that Washington has started to recognize the damage, the Obama administration pledged to throw enough resources at the problem to reduce the months-long screening to no more than two weeks in most cases. With the improvements that have been made in terrorist watch lists and other security screening tools, a decision on whether a visa applicant -- especially one already living and working here -- poses a threat should not take months."
Apparently Alden doesn't seem to care that the 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. mostly on student visas.
But, back to the lies. According to Alden there is a shortage of foreign students. While the number of students went down for a few years, there is no evidence that any of that decline was related to security checks based on a visa applicants name and date of birth. In fact, there is no evidence that the security check process had any impact on the visa process. In the area of student visas, student fraud is the major factor in visa application adjudication. Before 9/11, there were thousands of "schools" that processed applications for Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - for Academic and Language Students, a Department of Homeland Security, then Immigration and Naturalization Service, form completed by educational institutions for students to present to either the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Department of State as part of a visa application. However, most of the institutions issuing I-20s were fraudulent or of no real educational purpose. The USCIS has slowly weeded those out, but the major limiting factor for students is the expense of school, with most applicants for student visas unable to afford their education. Their real plan is to come to the U.S. to work and, perhaps, study on the side. The second problem was derivative, students who wanted to use the student visa to come to the U.S. to live.
And now we have the problem with terrorists. Alden, like Obama and Clinton, don't really care about terrorism, just remember 9/11 was planned and practices by terrorists on student visas who entered under the lax Clinton Regime rules.
The worst part of Alden's piece though was the sheer audacity of his lies and misdirection.
He claimed that: "Log onto the Web site of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai and you will see a snapshot of what visa processing is doing to the competitiveness of American companies and research institutions. Click on the link to "Case Status Report," and there is a list of hundreds of visa applications from Indians who await processing. The oldest dates back to 2005, and dozens of others have been pending for a year or more while Washington plods through security background checks."
That, for the most part, is both confusing and a lie. There are background checks, but only those who have a hit of some sort are delayed by this part. However, a security check is not the only reason for a delay and student are not the only applicants for visas. Most of those waiting are not responding to follow up questionaires or abandoned their applications, and because they did not qualify for the visa. http://chennai.usconsulate.gov/pdfs/adprocases090601.pdf Many are listed as pending, but that tells one nothing. Perhaps Alden thinks that the cost of economic growth is another airliner flown into a building. Now given that south Asia is the source of most of the violent Islamic terrorists, just remember Balochis planned 9/11, the first WTC attack, and other Pakistanis planned and carried out the attacks on London and Bombay, you would think that a security check might be a good idea.
However, there is no evidence that any of those pending applications are for student visas, much less that the security check is the issue. India is a source of hundres of thousands of illegal aliens and consequently their visa applications cause more scutiny. There is also no evidence that those pending applications are for students or non-immigrant workers. Most of the pending are undoubtedly for visitor visas, the most common visa used by the alien intending to remain unlawfully in the U.S. Here Alden takes a page from the Democrat handbook, attack without basis of fact.
Next Alden deliberately distorts the truth by claiming that aliens are "trapped" in their home countries by the bureaucracy, claiming they took a trip home and got trapped. Well, not true. Both students and non-immigrant workers can and do renew their status in the U.S. If they leave with an expired visa, they know that they will be delayed overseas. They make a choice to risk a visa issuance delay. They usually do this to get married. And, of course, this complicates things, as their new spouse needs to get a dependant visa as well. That is particularly hard on students, as then they need to show they can provide for their new spouse, which is more difficult for the usually non-working student. However, non-immigrant work visas, such as H-1B and L-1 can be renewed with the State Department in a special process in DC.
Of course, none of Alden's anysist of the impact of foreign scientists and researchers takes into account that these aliens drive down wages of American scientists and researchers, further driving Americans out of technology and science fields of study. He claims replacing Amercans with aliens creates more employment for Americans. However, what really happens is when aliens are hired, they tend to drive out Americans with illegal employment discrimination. It is well known that Indian and Chinese project managers in high tech and academia only hire their own countrymen.
As usual, Alden does not address other issues, like the intending illegal immigrant. He talks of one student in the U.S. for ten years: "Another had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and was doing post-doctoral research at Emory University on vaccine immunology." Most likely this guy is a grad student doing his professors work and teaching, in incomprehensible English, to other grad students. And more likely, this same guy is intending to immigrate to the U.S. and is just hanging around academia until he can find an employer to sponsor him. Undoubtedly in his case, the American Consulate in Chennai does not believe that he will be returning to India on his apparently never ending "studies."
As for the top researcher at Intel, "One had been a researcher at Intel on the latest generation of chip designs; he'd won a national prize for his Ph.D. dissertation for outstanding research in electronic and photonic materials.", why did he not renew his visa with the DOS in DC? He certainly could have planned his trip better. And, more importantly, why is he still working as a non-immigrant (H-1B or L-1) for more than six years? Intel should have sponsored him for legal permanent residency. But perhaps Intel prefers a more compliant non-immigrant worker who can put in those 80 hour weeks. No such thing as family time at Intel. Why do you think that Google has free food at their campus? So its employees are discouraged from having to claim to perform the usual daily needs, like cooking, that a normal employee has and go home. Better to keep them at work 15 hours a day on a small base salary.
Alden also excoriates the visa interview. While the short interviews are not that much help, they do quickly weed out much of the fraud. Obviously the visa interview is not much help in the fraud arena for an L-1 or H-1B visa renewal, but the purpose of the attack on interviews is not for this issue, but the goal of the radical left is to eliminate the visa interview completely for all aliens. The left constantly complains that the interviews result in visa denials, and that is the purpose of the visa interviews, to find fraud. Stopping anti-fraud methods is one of the main goals of the radicals, just remember from the amnesty proposal in 2006. Illegal aliens would get status without an interview withing 24 hours, all based on an electronic or paper application. The goal being no denials of any applications.
In any event, the visa interview in the case of students and non-immigrant workers is not the source of any real delay.
Even worse is Alden's urging a return to the Clinton days of Visa Express that gave us Mohammed Atta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_Express " 'Equally encouraging, the administration's top officials appear to have recognized the importance of the problem. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her commencement speech at New York University last month to pledge that she would "streamline the visa process, particularly for science and technology students, so that even more qualified students will come here.' "
In the end, the delays are based on fraud and national security concerns. In no way can Alden show, as he claims, that these short delays cause any harm in the U.S: "Of all the initiatives undertaken in the name of homeland security after 9/11, the visa screening requirements for foreign scientists and engineers have probably done the most lasting damage to America's economy -- particularly in the cutting-edge technology fields that are vital to our economic leadership and national security."
There is a real harm to national security posed by aliens, but it is their espionage and terrorism, not a fundamental lack of researchers in the U.S. Just look at all these Chinese spies arrested recently, most working for government contractors. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2008040203372.html
And how about this: “Offenders since 1990 are more likely to be naturalized citizens, and to have foreign attachments, connections, and ties, and therefore they are more likely to be motivated to spy from divided loyalties.” http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2008/04/the_changing_face.html and http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/changes.pdf
Pretty good reasons for Chinese and Indians to cool their heels at home while we give them a once over.