Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Korean American Simon Cho, who entered America illegally at age 4, now represents America in Vancouver as a short track speed skater in the U.S. national team.

Hooray to immigration making America better.

11 comments:

  1. I really hope you're not possibly condoning illegal immigration.

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  2. You ought to bemoan this: "That's why I brought him to the United States: to give him a lot of chances," Jay Cho said.

    Why couldn't they get those same chances back in their own countries? And why is the U.S. supposed to solve the problems that other countries can't or just don’t bother to?

    As for immigration, I'm all for it the legal way (which of course means waiting one's turn in ever lengthening lines), and not for those do it illegally or some of those the U.S. government decided to give citizenship and amnesty to after WWII. Those human butchers of Japanese Unit 731, the Biological Warfare Unit, should have met the same hanging fates as their German counterparts, but instead they were given nice homes in Alabama and across the South and university jobs to continue their research into their gruesome experiments just so this information wouldn’t fall into Soviet hands. I’m sure glad my immigrant grandmother didn’t find about this before she died as one of her sons could have been experimented upon with thousands of other POWs, Chinese, Russians, and others after he was captured by the Japanese. It’s just too bad that it is something that has been mostly swept under the rug in American history and can only be learned by that one episode of “The X-Files” or the occasional episode of “60 Minutes.”

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  3. Sarah, no. But the Korean does think immigration should be significantly liberalized.

    John,

    Why couldn't they get those same chances back in their own countries?

    Because America is the best country in the world, and the chances that someone gets in America is better than any other.

    And why is the U.S. supposed to solve the problems that other countries can't or just don’t bother to?

    Because it is good for America. Look at Simon Cho -- he made the national team because he is a better skater than people who were already in America. He provided an addition to America. That's a particular advantage of America -- the ability to consistently attract world-class talent -- that few other countries have. Heck, this particular world-class talent jumped the border to get here!

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  4. Did you read the article? It seems Simon was very, very lucky the main players crashed into each other and didn’t finish the race: "After finishing fifth in the 1,500 meters, he faced a brutal field in the 500. Cho lined up with Ohno, world-medalist J.R. Celski and Jeff Simon, winner of six World Cup medals, all of whom were considered favorites. On the fourth lap of the short race, Celski and Ohno got entangled, and Celski, who ended up on the ice, was disqualified. Simon fell after running into Ohno, and Cho cruised across the finish line with a stunning victory."

    And in today's world of unfairness, I bet there will be a lot of Americans rooting against this "border jumper" if his background is actually revealed on NBC in primetime. Well, those few who care about a sport just about as far beneath football as you can get.

    "the Korean does think immigration should be significantly liberalized." When will there be too many people in the U.S? Could we absorb the billions who would love to come here and how would goods, services, and jobs be provided when the government can't keep up with the 320 million plus that it has to deal with now?

    Also, did you know that unlike most countries, each year the U.S. accepts 55,000 people with the only prerequisites being a high school education and two years of work experience within the last five from underrepresented countries each year through the Diversity Visa lottery, and nearly half a million permanent residencies are handed out to family members of citizens, but somehow no one seems to publicize just how liberal the U.S. system really is. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html

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  5. John,

    Yes, the Korean did read the article. Have you ever watched a full day's worth of short track skating? Falling and crashing are very, very common -- it happens pretty much every other heat. (In fact, that's really the whole point of watching the sport.) Avoiding the crash in short track is a talent in and of itself.

    When will there be too many people in the U.S?

    Not any time soon, the Korean thinks. America still has huge tracts of land that are pretty much empty.

    Could we absorb the billions who would love to come here...

    Given that there are only about 6.7 billion people in the world, that's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

    ...and how would goods, services, and jobs be provided when the government can't keep up with the 320 million plus that it has to deal with now?

    The government seems to be doing fine, given the circumstances.

    Also, did you know that unlike most countries, each year the U.S. accepts 55,000 people with the only prerequisites being a high school education and two years of work experience...

    John, the Korean is actually very familiar with the entire legal regime about immigration. And he does agree with you that America's immigration system is actually pretty liberal. But it could still be more liberalized.

    A quick example - currently, H1-B visa given to specialized foreign workers is capped at six years, and has a quota. This is something that makes no sense. H1-B visa holders usually went to top colleges and graduate schools in America, and they are good enough to get highly sophisticated jobs in America. These people are valuable human resources, and they generally want to remain in America. But even if they are lucky enough to beat the H1-B quota, the current system just tosses them away after six years! It makes no sense.

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  6. "Given that there are only about 6.7 billion people in the world, that's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?"

    Not really when well over a billion live on less than $1 a day and countless others are living in poverty, in war-torn countries, or in areas of high unemployment and massive amounts of people (Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Iceland, France, etc.) that they'd like to leave. Hell, even my well-off relatives (professors/teachers) in Mexico are finding ways to immigrate (legally) to the U.S. While they live a comfortable life compared to most there and aren’t near the drug hot spots, they are absolutely terrified that a member of the family will be kidnapped, held for ransom, and then killed as so many are south of the border.

    I’m pretty sure that if the U.S. was to open its borders for all, TWO BILLION plus would be lining up for the opportunity.

    Yet, many of these desperate people who are hoping for a better life than the one they have/had in their own countries don’t quite realize is that poverty and a myriad of other problems also exist in the land that isn’t quite free but still is pretty brave.

    “The government seems to be doing fine, given the circumstances.”

    Unemployment is close to reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression and runaway government spending is heavily indebting future generations without their ever having gotten a vote on the subject. And it’s about to get really scary once China cuts off their purse strings and all that money we have been borrowing to finance our spending/economy dries up.

    I also wonder just how bad the employment picture would really be if all those service men and women were also out looking for work if it weren’t for those “wars” overseas? At least my brother has his college education paid for after surviving three years in Iraq and one in Kuwait. Now, he just has to hope that there will be jobs available in a couple of years.

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  7. John, if you will, would you mind responding to the Korean's point? Would you agree that the current H-1B visa system does not make sense?

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  8. “Would you agree that the current H-1B visa system does not make sense?”

    I am by no means an expert on the H-1B visa system, but I do see that they do not have to leave the country after six years if during that time they adjust their status and seek permanent residency. What sucks is that during that time (which can take several years), they are stuck at their current job and not eligible to seek better employment and wages elsewhere. It also looks like their employers can low-ball them in terms of wages against what their U.S. citizen counter-parts are making; however, this might be still be a significant “pro” point if their home countries’ wages are a lot lower, or if their living environment back home is undesirable, or if they just want to see the U.S. and travel for a few years (what I think the original drafters of this type of working visa had originally envisioned).

    Also, on the really negative side for U.S. workers, a lot of the H-1B visas being granted are for outsourcing firms like Infosys, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy Services who do the majority of their business outside the USA in India, so it seems that something very fishy is going on here.

    But on the plus side, “In 2000, Congress permanently exempted H-1B visas going to Universities and Government Research Laboratories from the quota.” It’s a bit odd that the biggest Universities with H1-B workers are Michigan, Illinois, and Penn State and not Harvard or Yale (though they are near the top).

    Personally, I would rather see these visas placed in a bit higher regard than those countless ones that all the actors (Australia seems really blessed in this department), entertainers, and baseball players (well, all sports players, but it seems that baseball has the highest rate of them) seem to enjoy with such regularity.

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  9. So Simon Cho is like my own son. My son Landon has been training with Simon and has been friends with him since 2002. Both our families have faced many struggles in helping the kids grow all around.
    His family is wonderful and very hardworking. This family knows the value perserverance. I call them family. I cant imagine our lives without them in it.
    Simon is a great young man and most of the families in US Speedskating would do anything for each other that is just the way we are.
    The US is blessed to have them.

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  10. That's very nice to hear Suzanne. Thank you.

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