This morning I read a great article about how Jared Kushner has been put in charge of working on merit-based immigration reform. The article covers why that reform is important, why Americans focus on the economic merit of immigrants, and what else should be done. I thought it was a very interesting take on immigration and illegal immigration. The article was written by Kevin Williamson, published by National Review, and is called “The Merit of Merit-Based Immigration.“
Read the article here: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/merit-based-immigration-plan-serves-us-interests/
Williamson begins by describing what Jared Kushner is working on and the current immigration system. The current American immigration system is a mix of chain based immigration and merit-based immigration. The difference is huge, as Samuel Huntington writes about in Who Are We?
Chain based immigration is when immigrants are able to bring their family members into the US as legal immigrants. It is a system that gives priority to potential immigrants based purely off of family ties. Merit-based immigration, however, is a better system.
It gives priority to immigrants based on their education and economic potential. It means letting in the immigrants who will contribute the most to America. However, only 12% of current immigrants are merit-based immigrants.
Williamson then describes Kushner’s proposed merit-based immigration plan. It has three main parts. One part is that it would encourage more highly skilled and educated workers to come to the US. It would do that by loosening current restrictions on programs for highly skilled workers.
The second part of his plan is that it would get rid of the “diversity lottery” system. That is a non-merit-based immigration system that allows 50,000 immigrants to come here in the name of “diversity,” without any regard for skills or economic potential. Part three of his plan is funding for a border wall, to help make sure that the immigrants that do get into the US are legal immigrants.
Finally, Williamson describes why Americans tend to focus on the economic viability of immigrants. Other countries, like Japan and Ireland, focus more on the cultural aspects of immigrants. They give priority to the immigrants that have cultural ties to their nation.
However, America hasn’t done that because we are a nation of so many cultures. Instead, we focus on business. America is a nation of business and industry more than anything else, so it makes sense for us to focus on the economic viability of migrants, especially when our politicians are working on merit-based immigration reform. That worked well enough for the American colonies starting with the time period described in The Coming of the Revolution and it should work well enough now.
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I thought this article was great. Williamson did a great job of describing what is wrong with the current chain immigration system and how Kushner’s plan could fix it. Chain migration and the diversity lottery are ridiculous and unfair systems.
Instead of focusing on the good characteristics of potential immigrants, they are instead mostly random systems that focus on diversity and families. That is a recipe for disaster. Instead of bringing in the best and brightest, as we would be with a purely merit-based immigration system, we are bringing in ever-growing numbers of “diverse” immigrants that have no advanced skill sets or job prospects.
We cannot afford to do that. The welfare system is already under significant strain, it can’t handle continual influxes of immigrants that aren’t working and paying taxes, as you can read about in Free Market Revolution. We need highly skilled immigrants that will help build and grow the economy, not huge families of unskilled and unemployed immigrants. Hopefully, Kushner’s system will help fix that.
Additionally, I thought his explanation of why America tends to focus on economics rather than culture was an astute observation. I hadn’t ever thought of that before, but now that Williamson has brought it up, it makes a lot of sense. It would be almost impossible for immigration officials to settle on any particular culture to favor over another when deciding on what immigrants to admit.
But it is very easy to admit economically viable immigrants as long as we have merit-based immigration reform. They can just find the ones who have educations, job skills, and a willingness to commit to the country. We don’t need more people on the welfare rolls. We do need more people being entrepreneurs or working to build up the economy in other ways.
Finally, I think the border wall and enhanced security at the southern border needs to be a larger part of Kushner’s plan. It was briefly mentioned in the article, but I think that it needs to play a more prominent role.
We cannot enforce an immigration system if we have hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring into the nation each year. Those illegal immigrants are often far from being highly skilled and economically viable immigrants. Instead, they contribute to violence and drug trafficking.
As I discuss in my “Border Security is Crucial for National Security” post, many illegal immigrants are good people and hard workers. But if they don’t have skills and don’t come here legally, their character traits don’t matter. They shouldn’t be allowed to skip the line and get in illegally, especially if they have no job skills.
Hard work is great, but robots will be replacing many of the agricultural and menial labor type jobs that they currently hold. There is no longer a place in America for a mass of unskilled workers. We need to make sure that the new immigration system reflects that change.
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Read this article if you are interested in merit based immigration reform. It is a very interesting and very informative article. It does a good job of explaining a variety of problems with the current immigration system, and what we could do to fix those problems.
However, I think it should have focused more on how to restrict illegal immigration. Merit based immigration reform will be a great thing and will be very helpful. But, its effects will be diluted if illegal immigration remains a problem. We have to fix that crisis in order to fix the legal immigration system. More Border Patrol agents and a better wall along the border would undoubtedly help, but I wish Williamson had gone into more detail about what could be done to fix the illegal immigration problem.
Despite that one problem I had with the article, I thought that on the whole it was very good. I would definitely recommend it.
By: Gen Z Conservative
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