re: Foreigners Don't Take IT Jobs, They Create Them
I'm married to an immigrant. My step-mom is an immigrant. Fully support immigration when done responsibly and with respect towards everyone else already here.
The motivation for immigration is what needs to change. Corporate motives have nothing to do with creating entrepreneurs like Andy Grove. They are almost entirely about lowering the cost of labor.
We need to be building strong families and a citizenry supportive of our American values, not temporary labor pools. The corporate sponsorship requirements amounts to indentured servitude and is a key reason why the majority of workers on corporate sponsored visas earn less than market wages. This puts downward pressure on American wages and working conditions. Unfortunately it also breeds resentment.
In short, immigration should be an agreement between our nation and the immigrant, without corporate middle-men. Let's set criteria that is considerate of the immigrant's talents, support of our nation, and that is also considerate of economic circumstance of the time (more restrictive during poor economic times, less restrictive during periods of economic growth).
We need to focus on permanent immigration in sustainable numbers, not a revolving door of temporary workers who will take their talents home and become tomorrow's competition.
To your points:
"Tibco founder Vivek Ranadive came to the States from India at age 17 to study at MIT."
"Google's Sergey Brin came to the U.S. from Russia when he was 6 as well."
" Andy Grove came to the U.S. from Hungary when he was 20 years old"
None of them were on guest worker visa programs. They came as young children or as college students. I'm certain that Sergey Brin would identify more with the United States than with Russia. Same goes for Andy Grove. These men would not be able to start their own companies on the H-1b visa, and instead would require corporate sponsorship.
So to answer your question "So what's the right age to consider lettingt immigrants into this country? 4, 7, 13, 21, 72?"
I would say we should welcome families and oppose our current guest worker programs that are not family friendly. In my view when it comes to children the younger the better. They will blend right in with our culture. Strong families become strong citizens. Guest workers aren't investing in the United States. They are using our immigration programs as a stepping stone to something better - in their own country.
My step-brother is Korean (now an American citizen). He came when he was 12, and I was his big brother. He since went to college, joined ROTC, and went to medical school. He is now an Army doctor, he's been to Iraq twice, and is helping our wounded soldiers recover from burns, amputations, and things you don't see on the news. He is the face of what immigration should be about and I couldn't be more proud of him. It wasn't about a temporary gig at at Infosys or some other body shop. It was about starting a new life with an extended family and making this country a home.
Motive matters. Cheap labor is not a good motive for immigration. Temporary shortages shouldn't be fixed through temporary immigration programs. Let the market sort it out, not labor subsidies from afar.