21 December 2011

On Immigration Policy

While I don’t think a free-for-all immigration policy is anywhere near approaching a good idea, this is hardly better:

Behind Door #1 are people of extraordinary ability: scientists, artists, educators, business people and athletes. Behind Door #2 stand a random assortment of people. Which door should the United States open?
In 2010, the United States more often chose Door #2, setting aside about 40,000 visas for people of extraordinary ability and 55,000 for people randomly chosen by lottery.
It's just one small example of our bizarre U.S. policy toward high-skill immigrants. Every year, we allow approximately 140,000 employment visas, which cover people of extraordinary ability, professionals with advanced degrees, and other skilled workers. The number is absurdly low for a country with a workforce of 150 million. As a result, it can be years, even decades, before a high-skilled individual is granted a U.S. visa. Moreover, these 140,000 visas must also cover the spouse and unmarried children of the high-skilled worker, so the actual number of high-skilled workers admitted under these programs is less than half of the total. Perhaps most bizarrely there is a cap on the number of visas allowed per country regardless of population size. How many visas are allocated to people of extraordinary ability from China, a country of over 1 billion people? Exactly 2,803. The same number as are allocated to Greenland.

The faux-egalitarianism that is the foundation of the current immigration policy is simply reprehensible.  If the United States is going to allow people to immigrate, then it should only select people who are actually going to contribute to the economic development of the united states (i.e. highly skilled workers) who will be more readily inclined to assimilate.

In addition, federal immigration policy should make a point of tamping down on illegal immigrants and sending illegals back to their home countries.  I’ve written on this several times before, so I will not delve deeper into this subject at this time.

Also, immigration policy should completely abolish the lottery system as well as the per-country visa allocation caps.  Quite simply, the united states should only allow the crème de la crème of immigrants to enter the country.

Ultimately, there is not a single good reason for the united states’ current immigration policy.  There is no excuse for extending citizenship to anyone other than the most excellent applicants.

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