Adult Mexican and Central American immigrants typically have completed fewer
years of formal schooling than native-born American adults. As of March
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
. 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%
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.
are less likely than non-Hispanic white Americans and
to have bachelor's degrees. Should we allow African Americans and
Hispanic Americans to become public school teachers without the bachelor's
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?
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
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.