Proposal: Let's Let the Spouses Help Finance the "Best and the Brightest"

By David North on February 6, 2012

On the one hand, the mass migration lobbyists say that we must admit more of the "best and brightest" alien workers and should expand the H-1B program to do so. The economy needs them, they say.

On the other, their friends in the administration are now tacitly admitting that the wages offered in the same H-1B program are inadequate to support the "best and brightest" already in the program.

A little cognitive dissonance, maybe? Or just a wonderful example of a tin ear, or maybe a tin brain?

If an alien high-tech worker is really, really good, should not that worker be paid enough by a grateful employer not to need a subsidy from a working spouse? Doesn't the market take care of such things? Particularly for the "best and the brightest?"

Well, apparently not if the worker has an H-1B visa.

Though there is, so far, no direct and public admission by the administration of the problem of low wages for H-1B workers, a tacit recognition that there is such a problem has just emerged from USCIS. That agency is proposing that the spouses of a very favored subset of H-1B workers, people that have been offered green cards by their employers, should be allowed to work in the U.S. For a brief description of this proposal, see an Immigration Daily report carrying the bland heading "USCIS Introducing More Employment Immigration Reforms".

It is another case where "'ems 'at has, gets."

The group of spouses in this proposal are not only married to aliens with high-tech or other professional credentials, they are married to workers talented enough to cause their employers to offer them a path to permanent resident status, i.e. a green card. In the H-1B population, they are the cream of the cream.

The proposal does not extend to the spouses of foreign farm workers (H2-As) or college students (F-1s) who really could use the money – it just goes to those spouses of alien workers who need it the very least.

There is a reason why spouses of most kinds of temporary alien workers are not allowed into the labor market; by definition, though they may be wonderful people, they are here accidentally, and not because the immigration law has ruled that there is any need for their presence. Further, it is obvious that the nation is simply crawling with permanent residents and citizens looking for jobs.

But the government, always sensitive to the needs and wants of the privileged, seeks to help the spouses of this particularly-favored subset of the H-1Bs, just as they helped those poor folks at Goldman Sachs.