The economically dumb distinction that guides our immigration laws is that high-skilled workers are good and low-skilled workers are bad -- as if macintosh apples would benefit any less from competitively priced and competent labor than Apple Macintosh Computers. The (fraudulent) rationale behind the distinction is that high-skilled foreigners create more jobs for natives and low-skilled immigrants take them away. If that’s the issue, then, one would imagine that immigration authorities would roll out the carpet for any foreigner with a track record of job creation, yes?
They recently refused the green card application of Canadian couple Katja and Troy Gage who sell organic foods at their popular Orange County, Florida, store virtuously called Eat More Produce. The store, which offers fresh fruit, vegetables, sandwich, wine and specialty foods, has been experiencing bumper sales, even in a down economy, thanks to an enthusiastic clientele.
But after submitting 10 pounds of paper work to officials to prove they were running a viable business, their application still got rejected. Why? Reports a local TV station:
Citizenship and Immigration Services sent them an eight-page explanation, saying they don't qualify because their 17 employees aren't considered professionals.
For example, the employees don't hold jobs as engineers, lawyers or physicians, as required to help secure a green card.
Now, the couple has three weeks to pack up and head back to Canada.
"Our employees find that insulting," said Troy Gage.
As they should.
But what is the message from Uncle Sam here? That farming and other similar jobs are too good for the foreign-born but not good enough for the native born?
If that's the case, maybe we should all start eating Macinstoshes instead of macintoshes.