you know the idea that we should favor 'people with advanced degrees' in immigration basically means: we welcome you as long as you're bourgeois. also these are the people whose situation is least desperate wherever they go. i guess it's a justification in terms of our own economy. one thing i want to say is that to make an economy you need all sorts of people doing all sorts of things, including manual labor, skilled and unskilled. there seems to be a vague notion that if everyone had an engineering degree, everybody would be making a six-figure salary, that 'education is the key to economic advancement'; look that just can't be quite right, and it certainly cannot be extrapolated from what people with advanced degrees make now in relation to high school grads etc. maybe it's someone's road out, but the economy has to be conceived as a whole structure, in terms of the actual needs that can be satisfied by various sorts of people. also the actual skills and preferences of various sorts of workers; which they're suited to and what is needed.