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Adult Mexican and Central American immigrants typically have completed fewer years of formal schooling than native-born American adults.  As of March 2002 only 37.3% of US residents age 25 and older who were born in the Central American region, including Mexico, had attained a high school diploma or higher qualification .  By comparison 68.4%, 80.9%, 84%, and 86.8% of Caribbean born, South American born , European born, and Asian born US residents age 25 and older, respectively, had a high school diploma or higher qualification, also as of March 2002.  The comparable percentages for US resident non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks age 25 and older were 88.7% and 79.2% , respectively.    

If this country needs low cost labor, shouldn't the low cost laborers have at least the equivalent of an American high school diploma?             

Some advocates of Mexican and/or Central American immigration may say that it's racist to require all immigrants to have at least the high school diploma.  Are these same advocates going to complain about the hundreds of millions of sub-Saharan Africans and South Asians who would be ineligible to immigrate if a high school diploma requirement were established?      

Basically to be a public school teacher a person must have a bachelor's degree.   African Americans and Hispanic Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian Americans to have bachelor's degrees.  Should we allow African Americans and Hispanic Americans to become public school teachers without the bachelor's degree?   Only about half of Mexicans/Mexican Americans adults age 25 and older are high school graduates .  Should we allow Mexican/Mexican Americans with a few years of schooling to become public school teachers?

Aren't US resident immigrants age 25 and older about as likely as native-born US residents age 25 and older to have attained the bachelor's degree or higher qualification?  

That's true.  However, foreign born US residents age 25 and older are less likely to be high school graduates than their native-born US resident counterparts .      

Some may say that their grandparents or great grandparents, who arrived from Europe during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, had little schooling and certainly no high school diploma.  So why require the high school diploma now?

Americans of today have attained more formal education than in the past.  Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's most adult US residents were not high school graduates.  Most US residents born during the first decade of the twentieth century did not become high school graduates.  Today most adult Americans have earned a high school diploma, an equivalency, or higher qualification .  Asking prospective immigrants and guest workers to have a high school diploma or higher qualification is basically asking that they be similar to adult Americans in terms of educational attainment.

With some exceptions adult immigrants should be required to have earned at least the high school diploma or its foreign equivalent in order to be eligible to immigrate to this country (USA) .  This is BTW not my original idea.  

In reality it would be difficult to establish a high school diploma requirement although US citizens and residents who favor this can and should contact their US House member and US senator.      

Another possibility is to have different immigration standards for immigrants based on their country of origin.  This would be somewhat analogous to affirmative action, under which lesser academically qualified blacks and Hispanics receive preferences in hiring and higher education admissions. 

For example, adult immigration from countries like Canada and South Korea could be restricted to those who have attained a high school diploma or higher qualification (because a vast majority of Canadian and South Korean young adults are high school graduates).  Mexican, Guatemalan, and El Salvadoran adults could be required to have completed elementary school in order to receive an immigration visa.