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Why We Want Immigrants Who Add Value


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Why We Want Immigrants Who Add Value

Why merit-based immigration wouldn't dishonor the American story.

By PETER VAN BUREN • January 30, 2018

The American immigration system based on family reunification is broken and out-of-date. A merit/points-based system can fix it—without cutting overall immigration numbers.

Immigration is national policy (like defense spending and taxes), not a global humanitarian gesture (that’s refugees). Yet the U.S. has a patchwork of immigration laws that don’t serve its national interest while simultaneously failing many of the people seeking to immigrate here.

The answer is not less immigration. Everyone who brings his skills and labor contributes to economic growth, and everyone who acquired skills abroad did so at no cost to the United States. In a global economy, that represents a magnificent advantage to nations that understand infrastructure is more than bricks and mortar. It’s brains. Want it in dollars and cents? Immigrant-owned businesses in 2014 generated more than $775 billion in sales and paid out more than $126 billion in payroll. Immigrant-owned businesses collectively created four million of the jobs today in the United States. Immigrants and their children founded 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Good. But what if we can do better?   :snip: 

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