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Skilled Immigrants Now Outnumber Unskilled Ones

There are more college graduates than high school dropouts
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2011 3:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Washington Post picks up on a new stat it says could have a profound effect on the US immigration debate: The percentage of immigrants with at least a bachelor's degree (30%) is now greater than those without a high school diploma (28%). The study from the Brookings Institution counts all immigrants regardless of legal status and suggests that the nation is luring more highly skilled workers (generally from India, China, and the Philippines) as the economy continues its shift away from manufacturing.

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"Too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences,” says the leader of an immigrant advocacy group. “The debate has been stuck in the idea that it’s all about illegal and low-skilled workers.” But it may not do much to change the minds of those advocating for tough rules. "New college graduates are faring very poorly on the labor markets, and what the report is telling us is that we’re bringing in a high number of workers to compete with them," says the director of one such group. (Read more immigration stories.)

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