Red-card the whole thing
The overwhelming majority of immigration to the United States is the result of our visa policies. Each year, millions of visas are issued to temporary workers, foreign students, refugees, asylees, and permanent immigrants for admission into the United States. The lion’s share of these visas are for lesser-skilled and lower-paid workers and their dependents who, because they are here on work-authorized visas, are added directly to the same labor pool occupied by current unemployed jobseekers. Expressly because they arrive on legal immigrant visas, most will be able to draw a wide range of taxpayer-funded benefits, and corporations will be allowed to directly substitute these workers for Americans. Improved border security would have no effect on the continued arrival of these foreign workers, refugees, and permanent immigrants—because they are all invited here by the federal government.
The most significant of all immigration documents issued by the U.S. is, by far, the “green card.” When a foreign citizen is issued a green card it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.
Under current federal policy, the U.S. issues green cards to approximately 1 million new Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) every single year. For instance, Department of Homeland Security statistics show that the U.S. issued 5.25 million green cards in the last five years, for an average of 1.05 million new legal permanent immigrants annually.
These ongoing visa issuances are the result of federal law, and their number can be adjusted at any time. However, unlike other autopilot policies—such as tax rates or spending programs—there is virtually no national discussion or media coverage over how many visas we issue, to whom we issue them and on what basis, or how the issuance of these visas to individuals living in foreign countries impacts the interests of people already living in this country.
If Congress does not pass legislation to reduce the number of green cards issued each year, the U.S. will legally add 10 million or more new permanent immigrants over the next 10 years—a bloc of new permanent residents larger than populations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.
This has substantial economic implications.
Germany has thrown open her doors to Syria, declaring it will welcome all that country’s asylum seekers. In doing so, it has overturned a EU convention which insists that asylum seekers must register in the first country they reach.
Germany will now cease handing out forms which ask new arrivals to declare where they landed in the EU.
Under the Dublin Convention of 1990, migrants seeking asylum within the EU must usually register with the country they first enter. The system was put in place to ensure that migrants didn’t submit multiple applications in a number of member states, and is binding under law.
However, according to the Independent, yesterday the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees ratified an order suspending the protocol. “Germany will become the member state responsible for processing their claims,” a government statement said, adding that all current expulsion orders for Syrian asylum seekers would be revoked. In addition, new Syrian arrivals will no longer have to fill in forms informing the German authorities which EU member state they first entered.
In the first six months of 2015, Germany received 44,417 applications, the vast majority of which have yet to be processed. But even before yesterday’s declaration, it was expected that most of the Syrian applicants would be granted asylum.
It appears, therefore, that Germany is using the announcement as a way to persuade other EU countries to take more migrants of their own. Many of Germany’s fellow member states have been using the protocol as a legal basis for refusing to take on large numbers of migrants pouring across the borders.
Before I continue, I should point out in the interests of transparency that I work here in the US on an H-1B visa, and am currently in the (very long) queue for a company-sponsored green card.