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White-Collar Immigrants on the Rise

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Posted on Apr 16, 2010

To the anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, here’s a noteworthy fact: A new analysis of census data shows that in 14 of the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas, more immigrants are employed in white-collar jobs than in the low-wage blue-collar work we normally associate them with.

The study indicates that immigrants in U.S. cities are evenly placed along the country’s economic ladder. The census data also show that immigrants are not dominating lower-paying jobs but are rather participating in the economy much like any other social group. —JCL

The New York Times:

After a career as a corporate executive with her name in brass on the office door, Amparo Kollman-Moore, an immigrant from Colombia, likes to drive a Jaguar and shop at Saks. “It was a good life,” she said, “a really good ride.”

As a member of this city’s economic elite, Ms. Kollman-Moore is not unusual among immigrants who live in St. Louis. According to a new analysis of census data, more than half of the working immigrants in this metropolitan area hold higher-paying white-collar jobs — as professionals, technicians or administrators — rather than lower-paying blue-collar and service jobs.

Among American cities, St. Louis is not an exception, the data show. In 14 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York and San Francisco, more immigrants are employed in white-collar occupations than in lower-wage work like construction, manufacturing or cleaning.

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By ibhdez, April 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First, do you think uneducated illegal immigrants take jobs away from Americans.  You must be “f” dreaming.  They become small business owners working all day selling ice cream, sodas, chips, etc from converted baby carriages.  You want to complete at least you speak English well enough to do.  Once you do this then you can say that they are taking business away from hard working Americans. 

How many of us would stand on a corner selling fruits - not any that I have ever seen.

As for the legal educated immigrants, well lets see.  The number of American citizens who have the skills to compete here in our lovely empire is diminishing.  So our corporations turn as always turn to cheaper labor.  These new immigrants as past ones are willing to work harder and longer just to survive.

What has happened is that these second and third generation have forgotten why and how their predecessors made it.

Welcome to the old America, now go back an educate yourself, work hard at anything, and educate your children, just like your grandparents did. Goof luck you may survive this next wave.

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By Carl, April 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

The USA accepts far more legal immigrants than any other nation on Earth. It has become a favorite for illegal immigrants because enforcement is extremely lax. The INS doesn’t’ even bother to deport most illegals that it arrests.

One problem with our system is that it is TOO EASY to get work visas. I know, I’ve done the paperwork. This is why millions of tech people from India were imported to replace higher paid Americans, and why most taxi drivers in major cities have been replaced by foreigners who often don’t speak English.

Please explain to the millions of unemployed Americans (including minorities) why we should allow ANY non-immediate family immigrant visas at this time. “To do the jobs American don’t want?” Does this article mean Americans don’t want white collar jobs either? We are so damn lazy. Let replace all Americans with cheaper and more desperate foreign workers.

This issue will destroy the Democratic party, again, since 95% of American workers agree with what I just wrote. Too bad progressive websites like truthdig and truthout continue to bow to their hidden masters and publish this BS. I agree with nearly all topics at truthdig, but then they continue this mindless Corporate pro mass immigration BS in hopes of another Reagan amnesty. Why?

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By rico, suave, April 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

A hundred years ago, thousands of people left Italy, Ireland, Poland, Russia, etc for the US because of poverty, lack of jobs and persecution. They didn’t sneak in through Canada or on boats in the middle of the night. They went through Ellis Island and other ports of entry LEGALLY. They didn’t come here and start demanding free education for their kids, free medical care and jobless benefits like todays illegals. While it’s true the immigration quotas are way down from a century ago, the philosophy should remain the same. Wait in line, wait your turn.

Besides, I always thought the US was supposed to be hell on earth. Why do so many people want to come here when Cuba and Venezuela are so close by?

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By gerard, April 17, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

But, but, but ... the reason so many are “illegal” is because it is difficult or impossible for them to become “legal”.  Let’s face it, the issue is more difficult than most because it is not simple. The border is a focus for rage because people coming in illegally from Mexico to work can’t get jobs in Mexico and they and their families are half-starving most of the time. Nor can they get legal permission; it’s too complicated, takes too long, they might be rejected etc. etc. They are poor. They are desperate, but they know their help is wanted once they get in.  You’d come over the same way if you were in their shoes.
  Fines, punishment, jail, expulsion—nothing cruel or punitive will work because the need is so great.  When one of the poorest countries in the world borders the richest country in the world, what would you expect?  Vast differences in economic status breed all kinds of trouble.

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By Carl, April 17, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can’t print this! We are told that millions of immigrant workers are needed each year to fill “jobs that Americans don’t want.” So are these white collar immigrants displacing American citizens? Does this make unemployed Americans evil “anti-immigrants” if they protest?

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By sollipsist, April 17, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

100% agreed. The issue is absolutely NOT anti-immigration.

I resent attempts to make me feel like a xenophobe for having reasonable concerns about the impact (legal, economic, and safety-related) of illegal entry and residence.

Poll the legal immigrants on their feelings about people who have bypassed the immigration process; I believe you’ll find a majority who fit this insulting and cynically manufactured definition of ‘xenophobic’.

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By rico, suave, April 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

What political group in this country is “anti-immigrant”, strictly defined? The Beck/Hannity/Limbaugh group? No chance. It’s limited to a few yahoos in the sticks who also wave their rebel flags and pine for the glory days of the KKK, and maybe Pat Buchanan, and maybe a small faction at the SEIU. But to listen to the NYT and truthdig types, it’s every non-progressive in the country. This is intellectual laziness pure and simple. Show me an Arizona rancher who lives on the border who begrudges Ms Kollman-Moore her status and success and I’ll show you a fringe yahoo.

Do us a favor. Quit lumping “anti-illegal immigrant” with “anti-immigrant.” It’s a cheap shot and totally unfair.

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