The Problem with the U.S. Immigration Laws

Shikha Dalmia:

The way this system works right now is that the American government has imposed a blanket ban on immigration. But then it selectively relaxes this ban for certain categories of favored people among whom “unskilled” Third World workers are not included. Indeed, as this Reason Foundation chart shows, there are virtually no legal avenues for “unskilled” aliens to work and permanently live in this country.

For starters, it is literally impossible for poor aliens to get temporary work visas such as the H-2A or H-2B to lawfully enter. That’s because Uncle Sam hands out only a few thousand such visas annually when the demand—before the American economy went down the tube, that is— was in the millions.

And that’s the best part of the system. The worst is that in order to get a visa, poor people have to effectively prove they are not poor. Indeed, they have to show that they have enough assets and connections that they would return home once their job in the U.S. is done. But if they had all that, they wouldn’t really need to come to the U.S. and work for scraps in the first place, would they?

But even if they somehow manage to get the visa, they can’t apply for a green card or permanent residency while working in the Unites States legally. “So what,” one might say. What’s so wrong about having them go back to their country and applying for a green card? Nothing at all, except that Uncle Sam won’t accept green card applications from people abroad (other than in the rare instance when they have family members already in the United States willing to sponsor them)!

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