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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

New Immigration Law

There is a multitude of posts on FB where people count points or whatever and triumphantly declare that they wouldn’t be able to immigrate to the US under Trump’s new immigration law. Obviously, none of them are immigrants, and they seem very unaware how annoying this cheap posturing is to actual immigrants.

Because guess what? They wouldn’t be able to immigrate under the current system either. But they don’t care because it’s not about immigrants. It’s about virtue signaling at the expense of immigrants. And it just bugs me. Go use somebody else you despise as much as us for your feel-good moment of the day. 

The only reason I managed to immigrate to the US is because I had a PhD, a tenure-track job, a university willing to file tons of paperwork to prove I have ‘exceptional talent’, and money to pay the onerous fees. If I’d been missing a single one of these components, I wouldn’t be here right now. This was all way before Trump. So count these points and tell me whether you’d be able to immigrate under Obama. And after you do that, please go stick your sudden concern for us immigrants deep into the place you found it.  

I prefer open animosity to this mealy-mouthed pseudo-caring. We are not fucking stray puppies.

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8 thoughts on “New Immigration Law

  1. David Bellamy on said:

    I often hear tenured colleagues say that they would never have been promoted under current rules. This is disturbing, too, in the same sort of way, even in cases when it is true.

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    • Yes, it always creates a lot of tension when people who got tenure on the strength of 1-2 publications have to judge tenure cases of younger colleagues under much more strenuous requirements.

      Not that this has anything to do with my post because in this analogy nobody got tenure before and nobody gets it now.

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  2. I have colleagues who did immigrate under Obama and couldn’t under Trump’s point system. I have no idea how common this is, but it’s not the same system (though I don’t think the old one was great either).

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    • Trump’s point system doesn’t exist yet. So they can’t possibly know any of this. I’m speaking to what I know and what did happen.

      Trump’s plan is to eliminate the lottery. If anybody has an argument why this ridiculous plan to lure unwilling people into immigration is a good idea, I’d love to hear it.

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  3. I am American and a migrant in the UK, where we have a points-based system. I live here because I have a PhD and a permanent (tenured, essentially) academic job that meets the salary criteria; an employer able to pay to sponsor me; a high enough salary; fluency in English. Like you, without even one of these things I would not be here. I recently got permanent residency on the basis of a whole bunch of additional criteria. Yet, I regularly get emails from young Americans I know through family asking me how to settle here. The outrage they express when I explain the requirements! The indignity these snowflakes express when I have the temerity to inform them they need graduate degrees and a job in hand! People all have such fantasies of what migration is. It disgusts me because it trivialises the actual work and effort migration requires.

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    • That’s exactly how I feel. Exactly.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have immigration requirements. I know people in my immigrant community who came in on the lottery or through the Jewish program, and they aren’t doing that great. It somehow never occurred to many of them that it might be a good idea to learn the language and suss out the job market before coming. The result is not amazing.

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