Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moving Forward on Immigration

Let's move forward on the immigration question. I submit that we should make it an item of national policy that we want to acquire the loyalty and citizenship of the world's brightest and most successful people.
Here's how we do it. 

First, we index nations on their level of Western cultural attainment. (Britain is high. Russia is medium. Zimbabwe is low.) That index value would become the base score for immigrants. These numbers should range from 0 to 100. Why this ranking? Because people from Zimbabwe are hard to integrate and people from Britain are easy. We're cherry-picking here - and we're doing it to advance our national interest, not the interests of the people who are immigrating.

To that base score, add bonus points for high educational attainment, high economic attainment, and high scientific/cultural attainment. (25 points per category.) Add bonus points for youth and for number of children (5 points total) and a ten point bonus for English fluency. Have a discretionary 10 points that Congress can use to set priorities. (If you’ll enlist when you get here, we give you 5 points. If you’re a nuclear physicist, that’s worth a bonus 10. And so on.)

So you can have anywhere from 0 to 200 points. For maximum score, be a British millionaire PhD Nobel laureate, 28 years of age with 4 kids, and possessed of whatever skill or attribute is floating Congress' boat this year. Minimum score is to be a destitute Third Worlder with no education or skills, 70 years old, infertile.

Annually, globally rank every immigration applicant in an ordinal list. Ask Congress how many people to let in this year, X. Admit the first X people on the list.

(Lest the heartlessness quotient be too high, I do support a limited number of refugee/hardship admissions as well. Say, 10% of the total, divided among the countries of the globe on the basis of each nation's existing representation in our population and administered at the discretion of the State Department.)

Under this system, once the inevitable bugs are worked out, I'd support a high level of immigration - say, 4 million people per year, maybe more. They would more than pay for themselves, with their existing wealth and their existing skills and talents. Furthermore, their availability to US companies, and their own entrepreneurial activity, would accelerate our economy tremendously.

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