By James R. Edwards, Jr. on July 17, 2012

Some business and education mouthpieces, along with uncaring, unthinking officials (including President Obama and many on both sides of the aisle in Congress), keep calling for more foreigners to be imported to compete against our fellow Americans for scarce jobs and higher education slots.

This unpatriotic drumbeat continues, despite the fact that some 1.8 million American engineers don't have a job or are working outside of engineering.

It should be un-debatable that a country needs less immigration during economic down times or when hundreds of thousands, even millions, of its own citizens can't find full-time, decent-paying work in their chosen field.

The Washington Post recently reported how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) degree holders now face depressing job prospects. We're pretty much talking native-born Americans here. The Post noted that unemployment statistics alone don't paint the full picture, because of the large numbers of Americans with STEM degrees forced to work in some other field. That includes engineers as well as chemists, biologists, and those working in other sciences. Only doctors and physicists appear to be doing all right finding advanced degree-related jobs.

Universities love foreign students because they pay premium tuition rates. For all the rhetoric about a "vibrant, diverse, global" student population contributing to the college experience, the cold, hard economics are that the institution makes a killing off foreign students. "We're in something akin to the gold rush, a frontier-style environment where colleges and universities, like prospectors in the 1800s, realize that there is gold out there", David Hawkins of the National Association for College Admission Counseling told the New York Times.

If you go all the way to a STEM doctorate, there's still no clear path to success. One- to two-year postdoctoral fellowships at universities can become something of a scientific sweatshop. Long hours, low pay, and the requisite doctorate credential mean those with a STEM Ph.D. and nowhere to go in industry or tenure-track higher education compete against foreigners willing to take less than optimal post-doc spots in hopes of getting an H-1B or other work visa to stay in the United States.

An economist told the Post, "the post-doc system [is] a 'pyramid scheme' that enriches — in prestige, scientific publications and federal grant dollars — a few senior scientists at the expense of a large pool of young, cheap ones." Who needs that, especially if you have substantial student loan debt hanging over you?

Years back, a public service announcement promoting education for black Americans used the slogan, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Today, it's about to the point where that slogan applies to Americans who earn higher education degrees only to find that our immigration law is stacked against them and many universities and businesses won't give them the time of day because they'd rather hire cheap foreign labor.