When I moved to California from Belgium at age 14, the Los Angeles Unified School district refused to recognize much of my education because there were no U.S. equivalents for the subjects I learned within my grade level. In other words, I was "too young" to learn those subjects and would simply have to learn them again. This put me in basic-level courses, even though I had successfully completed advanced courses in physics, zoology, mathematics and two foreign languages. I was willing to take exams to prove what I knew but the LAUSD system did not have provision for this at the time. It's as if my knowledge (recognized by grades, awards, and international scholarships) simply did not exist - at least as far as the Los Angeles educational system was concerned. (Fortunately I got out, and I've never allowed education to get in the way of my learning since.)
I can sympathize with what the people in this article are dealing with. They have the brains, filled with knowledge, but without the recognition, their opportunities are limited. Here, we have a problem of knowledge resources at a time when we need all the brain power we can get. This is not a discussion of legal vs illegal immigration. This is, however, in my opinion, a very interesting KM challenge. Clearly the current situation (for all of its causes) does not maximize the knowledge worker contribution that these people can contribute to society.
I wonder what a KM centric approach would be to maximizing the value of the knowledge these people have and are willing to share?
Article: Skilled immigrants a 'brain waste' in California's workforce