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Looking For A Positive In Immigration Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There are few things in Washington that everyone agrees on – ask a Democrat and a Republican what the weather is like and you’re likely to get complete different answers. But there is one thing they all agree on: the current immigration system is messed up.

I don’t use the popular word “broken” because something isn’t really broken when so many people simply ignore it. 

That’s the biggest problem with the immigration system, cities and states (and for decades the federal government) have ignored the law and are implementing their will instead. A major part of the appeal of Donald Trump as a candidate was that he promised to enforce existing law, which sadly has become a novel idea when it comes to immigration.

Since the system isn’t really “broken,” but is going to be “fixed” anyway, things are likely to change. In that change there is a chance, slim as it is, to make things better. But how?

President Trump has proposed some good ideas, though at a high cost – amnesty and, eventually, citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens. Those ideas include an end to the visa diversity lottery, a stupid idea that is the equivalent of pulling names out of a hat to increase the “diversity” of people moving to the country. If there’s a more insignificant factor in picking who should be allowed legal status in the country than what they look like it would have to be nose size. 

But such is the stupid state of our immigration system. Again, not broken, just dumb.

Another good proposal from the White House is to end chain migration.

Chain migration is when someone moves to the country legally, then is allowed to bring in family members. It’s understandable if someone who moved here wants to bring their kids and their spouse, but anyone beyond that should be off limits. If you can’t live without your siblings, parents, etc., you probably shouldn’t leave where you’re from. Moving to the United States is not a right, it is a privilege, and it needs to be treated as such. Prioritizing anyone simply because they’re related to someone else lucky enough to be granted that privilege, and not based on what they can offer the country, is insane and needs to be ended.

And that’s the main question we should be asking when it comes to everything related to immigration: what do we get out of it?

Priority should be given to people who have skills, have educations, have something to offer and add to the country to make it a better place. And that’s the one question liberals want to avoid like the plague. To them, immigration is an opportunity to import more voters and replace the ones their policies are costing them. 

Among the groups of immigrants liberals hate, and ones any immigration deal should include an increase of, are EB-5 visas.

Unlike the H1B visa program, which was supposed to bring in high-skilled workers and has been bastardized and exploited by tech companies for cheap labor, the EB-5 visa requires recipients to actually bring something to the table. 

In order to get an EB-5 visa an immigrant must have money to invest in a business, between half a million and a million dollars, minimum, depending upon where they want to move to. And that investment must be in a business that employs people, a minimum of 10 people. Unlike pulling names out of a hat, the country actually gains when an EB-5 visa recipient moves here. 

Since there is a benefit to the country, and our politicians are, well, our politicians, the EB-5 visas are capped at 10,000 per year. Yes, we have a strict limit on the number of immigrants with money to invest that we’ll allow into the country that is well short of the number of immigrants we’ll accept by drawing names out of a hat based on their country of origin.

Maybe the system is broken? No, the system would work if it were enforced and some adjustments were made based, again, on what should be the only criteria that matters: what does the country get out of it?

So, yes, build the wall, and end chain migration. I think it’s a mistake to grant amnesty that leads to citizenship to anyone, I’d much prefer some kind of permanent residency with no chance of citizenship for the so-called DREAMers, especially 1.8 million of them when only about one-third of them could even be bothered to sign up for it. And kill the “diversity lottery.” But any immigration deal should include an increase in the EB-5 visa program. It’s the one program about which there is no question whether or not there is a benefit to the country. Which, sadly, appears to be the one thing the debate over immigration reform is not about. 

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