Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Immigration Reform Additions

Three less-than-controversial policy planks that I would like to see in the new immigration debate:

1) Retirement Visa - Why not let foreigners retire in the US? There are plenty of elderly who are citizens of developed nations, cold Europe or snowy Canada for instance, that have access to money (let's say $100,000 or a pension plan that pays out $2,000+ a month) and who are above the age of 65. Some of them might want to spend their retirement days (and more importantly, money) in the warmth of the United States. The dry sands of Arizona/Nevada and the picturesque beaches of Florida would happily have them. It would be a boon to retirement industry.

2) US-Canadian Visa Exemptions - Many people do not know just how difficult it is to go from Canada to the US and vice-versa for a more-than-temporary amount of time. Many Americans still falsely believe that you do not need a passport to go to Canada. I have even met Americans who did not know the city of Toronto was even in Canada. With the exception of the Quebocois, a lay person probably could not distinguish between Americans and Canadians. Same music. Same cultural. Same media markets. If both countries could pass laws that would exempt citizens of the other from needing work or student visas, then both would be better off.

3) Advanced Degree Visa- Both Romney and Obama put out proposals that would "staple" a green card to every foreign-born US-educated immigrant in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. I do not believe this goes far enough. Why would the US not want foreign-born, foreign-educated people in the STEM fields? or any other field for that matter? Why are foreign-born, foreign-educated lawyers, doctors, and accountants any less hire-able that US-educated ones? Why are Oxford graduates less qualified than University of Wyoming graduates? Easy answer: they are not.  As long as these immigrants have passed US Trade Exams in their qualified field, then they are just as good as US-educated citizens.

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