Tuesday, October 30, 2012

U.S. immigration policy upside-down and here's why

I like facts.  They are so much better than demagoguery, ranting and raving you hear about U.S. immigration policy (or lack thereof).

So it may come as a surprise to you to hear from me that U.S. immigration policy is upside-down.  Here's the best example.  During the first full year after the 2001 Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Act went into effect (2002), here are how many immigrant visas Canada issued in the family and employment (Canada calls this cateory "economic") categories:

Family 46,319 (38.2%)
Economic 58,221 (48%)

By 2011, here were the numbers:

Family 45,449 (34.5%)
Economic 64,356 (49%)

Do you see the direction Canada is going in with its immigration policy?  It is trying to keep highly skilled workers and their foreign-born college and university graduates to build and improve its economy while maintaining a humanitarian level of family immigrant visa issuance.  It is trying to keep the brains and highly educated young people in Canada.  Smart.

In contrast, the United States issues 226,000 family immigrant visas and only 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas each fiscal year.  The State Department has backlogs for employment-based immigrant visas that force natives of some countries to wait more than six years for an immigrant visa in the highly skilled worker categories -- young people our colleges and universities educated!  Dumb immigration policy.

This is upside down, folks.  Write and call your federal representatives and tell them to fix this problem now.

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