New at Reason: Mike Flynn, Shikha Dalmia, and Terry Colon on America's Absurd Immigration Waiting Line

From our October issue, Mike Flynn, Shikha Dalmia, and Terry Colon show what it takes to legally immigrate to America. Click on the image below to see a larger version. Click again to expand it.

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  • ||

    I have a proposal. Why don't we sell citizenship to the highest bidders for the next year or so? We need the dues.

  • Jennifer||

    That would've given me a headache even if I didn't have to keep scrolling all over the place to read the whole thing.

    NONE of my (white European peasant) immigrant ancestors would've made it to this country if today's standards had applied a century ago.

  • ||

    While functional, ProL, it would hardly be fair. But we do need the money!

    Wall St.: 1000 times more demanding than Dr. Evil.

  • BDB||

    McCain is suspending his Presidential campaign, canceling the debate, and asking Obama to do the same.

  • ||

    Pro Lib,

    yeah, like we need more fuggin lobbyists.

  • ||

    Ugh. This is all too real for me. I'm in the skilled worker category. It's been 5 years since the process started. Pretty soon I'll be getting a Green Card (I hope!). It's been a bit of a pain in the ass and a lot nerve wracking but, obviously, willing immigrants will jump through any hoops you put in our path.

    Anytime I hear the "get in line" comment I want to smack the speaker in the face.

  • zoltan||

    Buh, buh, buh--Michelle Malkin says they're responsible for the mortgage crisis!!!

  • ||

    Soda, what country are you from?

  • ||

    Just to add, directed at Jennifer, you know the funny part? The employment path in the bottom is SIMPLIFIED.

    The details between the "Employer willing to file paperwork" and "Green Card" boxes involve two separate government agencies with multiple applications each: Labor Department and the USCIS (formerly INS).

    I work for a big company that has some truly competent attorneys at their disposal. I can't imagine how mom-and-pop business deal with the bureaucracy.

    Episiarch, I'm Colombian.

  • Russ 2000||

    NONE of my (white European peasant) immigrant ancestors would've made it to this country if today's standards had applied a century ago.

    I was going to say the same thing. (I guess I did.)

  • ||

    I can't imagine how mom-and-pop business deal with the bureaucracy

    They don't.

    Episiarch, I'm Colombian

    Ahh. I know a Columbian psychiatrist with a French Canadian girlfriend (of 7 years). They are both citizens. I should probably ask them sometime what their immigration experiences were like.

  • Jennifer||

    Just to add, directed at Jennifer, you know the funny part? The employment path in the bottom is SIMPLIFIED.

    It seriously pisses me off to see modern Americans say "MY ancestors came here legally, so today's immigrants should too," whilst completely ignoring the huge differences between legal immigration then and legal immigration now. Yes, my ancestors came here legally: they showed up on Ellis Island (or wherever) without a penny to their names, passed a TB test and that was it. On my mother's side of the family I'm only a second-generation immigrant: my grandparents were born in Poland, came here with no skills or money and spent their lives working truly shitty factory jobs.

    If modern immigrants had only to arrive on our shores and prove they had no contagious diseases in order to be invited in, THEN I'd have sympathy with the "Grrr -- illegal immigrants suck and should follow the law like my ancestors did" people.

  • ||

    Soda,

    My wife is half-Colombian, which makes my daughter a quarter-Colombian; therefore, I vote to waive the cover charge and allow you to join the ranks of citizenry at no cost.

    All kidding aside, good luck weaving through this nonsense.

  • ||

    Many of my ancestors were here before there was a United States, so I guess that makes me a Super American. Do I get anything for that, like a check or something?

  • duh||

    YES!

  • ||

    Great! How much? I hope it's a lot. My family has lived and died for this country.

  • ||

    so I guess that makes me a Super American. Do I get anything for that, like a check or something?

    I have these blankets for you. Don't worry, they're totally clean.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Not that super. At least, not to my knowledge. More European usurper super.

  • jtuf||

    It's time to overhaul this system. We should start by offering generic immigration slots to be assigned by lottery to whoever applies. We could start with 10,000 for the people of each country, which adds up to 1 or 2 million. These slots would suppliment the existing green card system so we get a net increase in immigration.

  • Urkobold™||

    THE URKOBOLD SUGGESTS SCREENING IMMIGRANTS STRICTLY ON LOOKS. ONLY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES.

  • Abdul||

    BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES

    I believe there actually is a special work visa for models.

  • jtuf||

    Jennifer, I agree that we have to make legal immigration more feasible. I would have more respect for immigration advocates if they put more effort towards this goal. Most of their rallies have focused on opposing immigration law enforcement. If they have a problem with enforcement, they have a problem with the current immigration law. I wish they would hold rallies supporting specific improvements to the law. Yes, the current immigration system is too restrictive. Let's fix it.

  • ||

    Episiarch, you are probably right about mom and pop businesses.

    Jennifer, they actually still check for TB (among other things). After the Labor Department OKs you and before you go to USCIS you need to get a medical exam. Seems fair enough. It costs $200 per person or something like that though. And interestingly you can only go to a subset of authorized Dr's. This is apparently profitable enough that all these Dr's do is check Green Card applicants! I wonder what it takes to get in on that action.

    Pro-Libertate, thanks! Crossing my fingers.

    jtuf, there is already a lottery system. It's called the Diversity Lottery. It excludes immigrants from China, India, Mexico, Colombia among others though so no dice for me.

  • ||

    I believe there actually is a special work visa for models

    While a good start, there are many women who are very hot yet are not models. We need to get them visas too.

  • ||

    Epi,

    That would destroy the mail-order bride business! What would all of the lonely uber-nerds like my cousin do then?

  • ||

    What would all of the lonely uber-nerds like my cousin do then?

    Who cares? We'd be flooded with my favorite thing, hot foreign girls, so I'd be set.

  • ||

    Ya know Epi, ya have a good point there. I never really liked him anyway. His Phillipine wife however...

  • ||

    Soda,
    My sister-in-law (who is single) has been living and working in the US as a skilled worker for over 5 years now and she is still waiting for her green card. While another sister-in-law, and her husband and three grown children, migrated to Canada- within two years they became permanent residents.
    The sister-in-law in Houston, TX is wondering if she chose the wrong country to migrate to...
    hang in there!

  • robc||

    Here is the Swiss system (as I remember it) from the early 90s. Im guessing its pretty much the same now:

    Want to WORK in Switzerland? Okay, no problem, if you are from a friendly country no VISA required. What, you arent going to commute to the job? Oh, then see below.

    Want to LIVE in Switzerland? Okay, fill out a bunch of paperwork to get a VISA, it will take a few months to get approved. Once you get here, you have 30 days to go to the airport and get your TB X-ray done.

    Want to be a CITIZEN of Switzerland? Tough shit. If you marry a Swiss citizen at least your kids will be citizens.

    Immigration is easier than with the US. The path to citizenship is much harder.

  • Del Gato||

    Want to be a CITIZEN of Switzerland? Tough shit. If you marry a Swiss citizen at least your kids will be citizens.

    The citizens of Switzerland have been enjoying their peace, prosperity and freedom since at least a couple of centuries before the United States was a gleam in Thomas Jefferson's eye, and it looks like they'll continue to enjoy them long after the United States has descended into authoritarian hell. They didn't get in that enviable position by making stupid political decisions, and the smart money says they aren't making a stupid decision on immigration, either.

  • Harry Lime||

    You know what the fellow said--in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace--and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

  • Dagny T.||

    This is apparently profitable enough that all these Dr's do is check Green Card applicants!

    Not profitable enough for the sketchy ass doctor I went to for my GC exam to have a normal, safe X-ray room. It was in a closet. The doctor did not speak English, but he completed the exam with impressive speed.

    They asked weird questions, too, like had I ever had sex for money? Why the hell someone who had answer honestly?

  • nebby||

    What is with the BS saying there is no way for unskilled workers to get in followed by the reality that 10,000 do every year?

    Which is it?

    Adding 10,000 to the US poverty rolls each year sounds like plenty.

  • DONATE NOW!||

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  • ||

    Why is everyone missing the big picture here? Have none of you any pride in your own peoples, your own government and country? Why do you need and expect it to be easy to migrate to this great country?

    Stay in your own country! If it sucks there...then change it.

    The laws in place now in this country are logical and relevant. There is no reason to migrate to this country unless your immediate family is here or you offer a service or product that no one else can offer.

  • ||

    What about the abundant amount of people here who bum off welfare, commit numerous crimes, or just plainly have nothing to offer. But get to stay because they managed to be born on American soil? We should kick them back to where there ancestors are from then. Because according to you if you have nothing to offer you need to gtfo.

    It's easy to say "change it!" when you live in a first world country with money, free education, and all the other benefits at hand. Americans fancy themselves to be revolutionaries and that if they were in a shit country they would rise up to be the savior, when in reality the great number of us would not.

    If only people with family here or can offer something people here wanted then America would not be founded at all. Europeans who first came here had no family, and natives were just fine.

  • ||

    Yes, my ancestors came here legally: they showed up on Ellis Island (or wherever) without a penny to their names, passed a TB test and that was it.



    Oh, no. You overlook one of the critical qualifying factors: they were white. That was an explicit and strictly enforced rule.

    That's the problem with immigrants these days, they can't be bothered to make the effort to be born to parents with white skin -- like my proud ancestors did.

  • Jennifer||

    Why do you need and expect it to be easy to migrate to this great country?

    Because the only reason I'm here now is that it was easy to migrate when my ancestors chose to do so, and expecting newcomers to meet standards that I and my family couldn't meet ourselves would make me a hypocrite?

  • ||

    The next time you get a DUI, try telling the judge that drunk driving was legal in 1932 when your grandfather did it.

  • Mike||

    I am a naturalized US citizen as are my parents and one of my brothers. My other brother in a fit of stupidity returned to Canada and surrendered his Green Card. The hoops he has to jump through now to get it are ridiculous.

  • ||

    The next time you get a DUI possession of marijuana, try telling the judge that drunk driving using marijuana was legal in 1932 when your grandfather did it.

    Fixed with appropriately analogous victimless crime.

  • ||

    I just don't get the US migration and visa policy. I am a PhD student in Mexico (I am Mexican) and was invited by the Texas University to a congress where I'd read a part of the work I've been doing on Women's Literature. I could not get my permission to go and read my paper because (oh, please, brace yourself!) I AM NOT MARRIED. Yes, the US Goverment man told me, quite seriously, that marriage is sacred in the US, and he would not feel comfortable giving me a permission for five days to attend the seminar...

  • ||

    Michelle,

    Stupid, stupid, stupid americans...


    We are probably going to have to open up immigration just to get enough taxpayers to satisfy social security

  • ||

    My mother is a legal immigrant from England; she's had her green card for 38 years. Two years ago she applied for American citizenship. So far the only thing that has happened is she's had to make a 6-hour drive three separate times to get fingerprinted. No other progress. My mother's friend, also from England but who had let her green card expire, applied for citizenship at the same time as my mother and got hers in 4 months. THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN, even for white English-speaking women.

  • Jin||

    Well, you can always join the armed services and use the "Expedited Naturalization Executive Order" signed by President George W. Bush on July 3, 2002.

    Check out the text of the order at the whitehouse.gov site.

  • Brad||

    I love this - it's great timing for me too as I just got into a discussion about immigration on my blog.

  • rhywun||

    I can't imagine how mom-and-pop business deal with the bureaucracy.



    They don't. My ex is stuck in Malaysia because his company couldn't be bothered with it. Nor the inflated salary requirement.

  • rhywun||

    Heh, Epi you beat me.

  • rhywun||

    There is no reason to migrate to this country unless your immediate family is here or you offer a service or product that no one else can offer.



    Or your country is veering towards theocracy and persecutes gays. Among many, many other reasons.

  • ||

    The most interesting and so far unmentioned aspect of this cartoon is that in spite of the fact that coming to the US is Byzantine to say the least, more than a MILLION people a year come to the US legally to live and work.

    Personally, I agree with the above virtually everyone above the system is dysfunctional. But in order to fix the system the first conversation that needs to take place is how many immigrants are we going to let in.

    Pick a number. It really is that simple. Let's as a nation have a discussion about the total number of immigrants per year we are willing to let immigrate to this country.

    Now some on this site are willing to just open the door wide and allow an unlimited number. For me, I believe that there is a limit to the number of immigrants the US can absorb.

    Once a number is picked whether it be the current number of about a million per year, or perhaps we increase it to 2 Million, though some right wing wackos probably want it to be a much lower number. Next the object is deciding who gets in.

    We could do this a number of different ways. I like the idea of a reverse auction for the first 250,000 slots. Simply put, don't give us your tired, give us your f-ing rich who will shell out the bucks to come here. The next 250,000 can be based on family. The next 250,000 can be based upon profession or skill. And finally the last 250,000 can be fruit pickers, drywall hangers, and busboys.

    The reality is that we are unwilling to have a serious discussion about how much immigration we are willing to accept.

    As I said before, the real issue is the overall number. Right now it's about 1 Million Legal and 1 Million Illegal a year. About 40% of the population thinks this number is too high.

    Regards

    Joe Dokes

  • Lateefx||

    FANTASTIC chart...thanks for helping us visualize the process. I am for controlling the borders and also believe that we have reached or about to reach the amount of immigrants where the 'law of diminishing returns' 'could' set in...but nevertheless...it still takes longer for spouses and children of US citizens to get green cards than illegal spouses/children that got here somehow (overstayed their visa or jumped on a raft)...because the illegal immigrants' status can be adjusted without having to go back to their country of origin...

    whether that is good policy or not is a whole other topic -- but it doesn't seem very fair that it takes longer for spouses and children to get over here legally.

  • ||

    It's just as bad going the other way. I missed a 120k/year job in Mexico because I couldn't get in, and I'm Latino. My company had to hire an outside Engineer when the Attorney found out I don't speak Spanish. They said it was no use trying even though the plant personnel spoke mostly English. It costs less to contract an engineer than emigrate to Mexico.

  • ||

    Looks like it's pretty easy to become a U.S. citizen if you happen to find someone over there you want to marry. Quite why a person's relationship status is considered more important for making them a viable immigrant than their skills or financial situation is a mystery to me.

  • BradHicks||

    Could we get it revised with a different line for humanitarian refugees? I don't know the details, but I gather from our experience here in St. Louis as a hub for refugees that it's a lot shorter line.

  • ||

    It's a good diagram as far as it goes and it's an interesting topic, but I really hate the conflation of immigration with citizenship.

    The great, great majority of the benefits of immigration, both to immigrants and to consumers, comes from the ability to be in the US and work, not from the ability to vote in the US.

    The point of the diagram, that the rules are arbitrary and complex, is well illustrated, but I really don't have a problem with a 10 year time-line with tests at the end to obtain citizenship. What I do have a problem with is the arbitrariness, complexity and irrationality of who can obtain a green card.

  • Josh||

    Two things. First, we still accept thousands and thousands of refugees for asylum from places like Somalia.

    Second, I'd like to see a chart that details how you can move to the EU. Oh wait, you can't.

    -Josh

  • ||

    Second, I'd like to see a chart that details how you can move to the EU. Oh wait, you can't.

    Are you Irish with two grandparents that were born in Ireland? Because you can get yourself a shiny Irish passport, no problemo, and have free run of the EU.

    However, as I haven't even a drop of dirty, filthy Mick blood, I can't do that. But maybe you can.

  • ||

    Second, I'd like to see a chart that details how you can move to the EU. Oh wait, you can't.
    Being less stupid than a retard isn't anything to brag about.

  • ||

    Migration control. Conservatives' favourite unenumerated power.

  • LarryA||

    I agree that we have to make legal immigration more feasible. I would have more respect for immigration advocates if they put more effort towards this goal.

    I'd have a lot more respect for immigration opponents if they also supported reform. Many of them are of the "I'm here, so slam the gate" philosophy.

    Well, you can always join the armed services and use the "Expedited Naturalization Executive Order" signed by President George W. Bush on July 3, 2002.

    That's not a new thing. The same procedure was in place in 1970 when I "vacationed" in Vietnam. I had at least three such soldiers under my command. They said the NVA was a lot friendlier than the INS.

    There is no reason to migrate to this country unless your immediate family is here or you offer a service or product that no one else can offer.

    There is no reason to migrate to this country unless your immediate family is here or you offer a service or product that no one else can is willing to offer.

    Landscaping, fruit picking, road construction, Christmas tree cutting...

    I really hate the conflation of immigration with citizenship.

    They should be conflated. People who want to live here permanently should become citizens. (Immigration: to enter and usually become established ; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence)

    OTOH most of the people who sneak across the Texas border don't want to immigrate. They want to come here for fruit-picking season (or whatever) then return to Mexico. What's wrong with that? (This may be what you meant.)

  • ||

    There is no reason to migrate to this country unless your immediate family is here or you offer a service or product that no one else can offer.

    I have one to breathe free. Perhaps you may have read this somewhere

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

    Immigrants are what we need people willing to risk everything to come to a new country and work hard to procide a better life for them and their families. Maybe we should think about deporting all those citizens that whine the goverment needs to save them because they made stupid choices. (built on lowlands prone to hurricanes or got an negative amortization mortgage they couldn't afford.)

  • ||

    "Second, I'd like to see a chart that details how you can move to the EU. Oh wait, you can't."

    Say what? Here is an example: Tiny Sweden, a member of EU, has accepted 30 000+ refugees from Iraq, ths US has accepted about 7000. Some would argue that the US has some kind of obligation against the people in the country they invade. But they don't, apparently.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I met and married my wife while she was here studying for her Masters degree.

    I have a BS and the two of us had an extremely hard time processing all the paper work to get her a permanent resident card. The process needs to be reformed before I will get too worried about enforcement of the borders.

    Worse yet, is while planning our wedding we dropped by the local INS shop, told them our wedding plans (we were going to get married back in her home country) and asked them if that would be OK. They assured us it was and gave us some pointers.

    When we got back we were hit with a $100 "waiver" for committing visa fraud (she re-entered the country on her student visa), even though we followed their advice. Talking to other friends who had gone through this same INS office we found that everyone ended up getting nicked for some waiver or another.

    What really got me was that our waiver was already typed up. All we had to do was write the check.

    In all our dealings with the INS I have found them to be the most dysfunctional bureaucrats I have ever met. They are the absolute worst.

    The problem is that this debate doesn't have a binary solution (slam the door shut/open the floodgates) so it doesn't fit well into our political system. Both extremes are about 50% wrong and there is no moderate force to come up with a plan that combines the best of the two.

  • ||

    They should be conflated. People who want to live here permanently should become citizens. (Immigration: to enter and usually become established ; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence)


    Baloney. I don't know where you or anyone else gets this idea. If they want to take up the responsibilities of citizenship, then I believe they should be given the chance. If they don't want the responsibilities, we shouldn't give them the privileges. Regardless, it's to our advantage and their advantage for them to be able to live and work in the US. That's why the two terms should not be conflated.
    As for the dictionary definition: good point. The US government definition, which is what matters in this case and what I was talking about, differs, though. Specifically, there is an entire class of visas that are called immigrant visas and they make no presumption that the holders will become citizens.

    OTOH most of the people who sneak across the Texas border don't want to immigrate. They want to come here for fruit-picking season (or whatever) then return to Mexico. What's wrong with that? (This may be what you meant.)


    Indeed, what is wrong with that? - although I didn't really have it in mind as much as say some engineer from India who currently has to struggle to get an H-1B. Bottom line: as long as it's a voluntary transaction and the person entering the country is not a security risk the government should get out of the way.

  • Raw Bacon||

    Does it count if you have an american cat?
    I lived in the US for about 6 years as an illegal. It was hard, but it sure helps being European, sadly.
    I probably will never see America, my friends or my cat again, which is both infuriating and saddening, but I can't really complain as it is much harder to get a working visa to Denmark.
    Since the US and Europe likes to promote democracy, would it not make sense to have an open work/travel market for all democratic regimes? Maybe make it quid pro quo, as in: if x number of Brazilians go to Denmark, x number of Danes gets to go to Brazil.
    I think the only real way to see & understand a country, is to work there. My view of America is certainly much more nuanced & positive for living there, especially compared to my fellow Danes.

  • Susanna||

    Wow. I'm starting to believe I'm lucky to have been an American citizen immigrating to Canada (18 months, relatively straightforward process), rather than the other way round.

  • ||

    [...] [M]ost of the people who sneak across the Texas border don't want to immigrate. They want to come here for fruit-picking season (or whatever) then return to Mexico [or the other Southern countries].

    That's true. The only reason they stay is because it is so darn hard to enter again. It is also the reason they risk bringing in their families. With a market-oriented immigration policy, they could perfectly fill the needed jobs, return to their countries at the end of the season, and go back again at the start, at low cost to them and the US. Instead, you have a helluva set of unintended consequences stemming from stupid immigration laws and bureaucrats.

  • ||

    I'm with Shawn: There is a fundamental difference between residence and citizenship.

    In particular, residence -- and the migration and labor that go along with it -- are inalienable individual rights.

    In contrast, citizenship is an entitlement. It is an important entitlement, to be sure, and there are very good theoretical and pragmatic reasons for when and how to grant citizenship. But those reasons are supported by political and cultural arguments, not by moral or economic arguments. Moral arguments based on rights, and economic arguments based on free labor and comparative advantage, demand only the freedom to migrate, reside, and labor: they do not demand citizenship.

    I do agree with LarryA that nations, particularly nations of the US's character, should desire broad-based citizenship and that they should not be stingy about naturalization. But the path between residence and citizenship can be seen as a reservoir of people whose outflow can be adjusted pragmatically by length or nondiscriminatory prerequisite to achieve the desired rate of increase of citizenship while allowing unlimited temporary or permanent residence.

  • ||

    Can someone please transform this flow chart into a board game or online game? I have heard too many kids and teenagers mindlessly parroting anti-immigration b.s. they've picked up from, well, everywhere. (I live in Arizona, a hot bed of anti-immigration ignorance and ass-hattery.) I work at an after-school program for teens and would love to have them play a game in which it's practically impossible to "get to the next level."

  • ||

    I guess I was lucky to get "one of the easiest ways" to obtain citizenship. My parents on the other hand...

  • LarryA||

    If they want to take up the responsibilities of citizenship, then I believe they should be given the chance. If they don't want the responsibilities, we shouldn't give them the privileges. Regardless, it's to our advantage and their advantage for them to be able to live and work in the US.

    If they're going to live here permanently, can we agree that they should be encouraged to become citizens?

    Slightly OT: Every Fourth of July we host a community patriotic sing-along in our church. We invite choir directors from other churches and from schools to lead the audience in singing.

    I get to read the Declaration of Independence. I always inquire if there's anyone from England, and remind everyone that alliances have shifted over the last 230 years.

    One of the directors who always participates was British, and has for the past ten years been in the citizenship pipeline. (Married to a home-grown U.S. citizen, so it only took a decade.) This year, about a month before the Fourth, she made it.

    Warm fuzzy time.

  • ||

    Love this chart. But it forgot to note that you can usually go from box to box only with a lot of money. The fees for immigration lawyers, as well as fees to apply are ridiculous. $1,010 to apply for permanent residence! I have a petition asking to lower the fees, if anyone wants to sign:
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/891733777

    People should know that responding "yes" to a question does not automatically mean they will go on to the next box. According to this, being a family member of a citizen is the easiest way to enter the country. But for years my grandfather from Mexico was trying to get only a temporary visa, and both of my parents are citizens, and he was rejected for lack of "assets."

  • ||

    I agree that it should be simplified but also that we need to let a lot fewer in every year.
    In 2005 we let in *3 Million!*
    That's like adding a city the size of Philadelphia every year!
    A hundred thousand per year would be a reasonable number.
    And, we need to end all those "refugee" and "asylum" programs that are full of scams!
    They claim "refugee" status then 5 years later go *back* to their home countries for "vacations!!!"

  • rhywun||

    In 2005 we let in *3 Million!*



    Please show your work.

    I'm hearing various "scary" numbers thrown out there without a shred of evidence.

  • ||

    Given that the population of Philadelphia is closer to 1.4 million, maybe he's counting people in metric units instead of English units.

  • jtuf||

    jtuf, there is already a lottery system. It's called the Diversity Lottery. It excludes immigrants from China, India, Mexico, Colombia among others though so no dice for me.



    Then let's build on that. We should expand the diversity lottery to include all countries and raise the total slots available through it. Today's immigration rate is 3.2 new immigrants per 1,000 Americans. We could double that and still be within the range common from 1840 to 1920. I think we could convince a lot of conservatives to increase the lottery system if we remind them of how well America absorbed past waves of immigration. We could also point out that restrictive immigration policies sprung from the progressive social engineering mentality. Let's give people from all continents the same oportunities that the Germans and Irish got over a century ago.

  • ||

    "Stay in your own country! If it sucks there...then change it."

    Then go back to the country your ancestors came from and change it to your liking.

    Clearly you don't comprehend the politics of other nations, especially developing nations with caste systems.

  • rhywun||

    I think we could convince a lot of conservatives to increase the lottery system if we remind them of how well America absorbed past waves of immigration.



    A process that can take decades. They're tired of hearing Spanish now.

  • ||

    THIS SUCKS!!!! I HATE IT WHEN THEY SAY WE CANT COME HERE ILLEGALLY...SOME OF THIS LAND WAS OURS IN THE BEGINNING SO WHY SHOULDNT WE BE ON IT!?!?!?!?!?!

  • ||

    Lol, you wouldn't have any trouble "convincing" conservatives to increase immigration, they're all for "cheap labor" just not for them.
    They don't think "working people" should be making $40-$60 per hour but they have no problem with brigades of lawyers making $200 per hour.
    Funny, if we started importing lawyers from India by the hundreds of thousands and dropped the "billable Hours" down to $80 per hour Washington would stop that tommorow morning!
    The thing is we don't "need" immigration at this time.
    You can get all the $10 per hour workers you need right now(Subsistance level.)
    And, people forget thaty immigration to any country is not a 'right."

  • ||

    Lol, you wouldn't have any trouble "convincing" conservatives to increase immigration, they're all for "cheap labor" just not for them.

    Are you sure you're commenting where you think you're commenting? Around here, when people say they are for free migration, they mean it -- whether for the $10 per hour cheap laborer or the $80 per hour lawyer.

    The thing is we don't "need" immigration at this time.

    If that's the case, no one would immigrate. Problem solved.

    And, people forget thaty immigration to any country is not a 'right."

    Do you think migration to any state or town is a right? If so, what is so magical about a national boundary that redefines rights? If not, who gets to decide under what circumstances that privilege can be denied?

  • jtuf||

    Speaking of economic isolationists, even they should support offering diversity lottery slots to memebers of all nations and increasing the number of lottery slots available. A shortage of lottery slots makes work preference immigration opportunities more valuable. To an immigrant who can't immigrate through a general lottery, work preference immigration opportunities are part of the benefits package an employer can offer. When employers offer more benefits, they can attract the same employees for less salary. That means greatly increasing general immigration opportunities would help close the gap between the wages immigrants will accept and the wages native-born Americans will accept. If liberals want immgrant workers to have more bargaining power during a job interview, they should make it easier to immigrate through a general lottery system.

  • bob haley||

    NONE of my (white European peasant) immigrant ancestors would've made it to this country if today's standards had applied a century ago. They just might get in, the fight about building walls to keep illegals out is a big smokecreen to keep people fighting, distracted. Many get here on government contracts, legal slavery, where a company brings in hundreds legally for a job, at below the standard wage. Then when the job is done , no one is responsible for thier return to thier countries, they just fan out across the countryside. How will walls stop them?
    People need to agree and stand up together for change, that is good for everyone, not the few. Where are you standing? Tell me so I can come and stand with you, if physically and logisticly possible.

  • ||

    My parents have been in this country for six years and still not legal. I was born here but the laws are so messed up, we have to wait until i turn 18 to start paperworkbut they won't acutually be legal until I turn 21. My two other siblings were also born here but slightly younger. My parents can do practically NOTHING for me, ever. DMV stuff, even as far as take me to the homecoming game in sc simply because "of checkpoints" the INS and it's constant fear. They haven't seen their relatives in six years.

    It's unfair.

    And to top that off, I have to listen to kids at school complain about stupid mexicans because "they don't do shit, they don't pay taxes, and they deserve to be kicked back to where they belong"

    do they not get that we are here by need and not by want? WE don't want to be here, where our traditions are dead and the same familiar faces we grew up on are gone. We are simply here by need. Because if we had stayed, we could have been raped, kidnapped or just in abject poverty.

    No one here knows the other side of the story and therefore they form a misinformed opinion.

  • ||

    If so, what is so magical about a national boundary that redefines rights? If not, who gets to decide under what circumstances that privilege can be denied?

    There is simply no right to immigrate to the USA. We are a national community. Our frontiers have been set for over 100 years. Our constitution gives us the right to keep out who we want and let in who we want, in the numbers we want. This is a collective decision, as it must be. But I'll be fair. You import and hire all the immigrants you want, just keep them on your property ...all the time.

    We don't need peasants, we don't need more computer programmers. No empirircal study anywhere anytime has shown anything more than fraction of a fraction of a percent of GDP benefit from immigration to the host population. And none of these studies show public costs -- congestion, traffic, increased pollution. However we do know the natives vote with their feet, leaving immigration impacted areas like Southern California.

    And all of you descendants of 'white European peasants' -- consider the fact that our current immigration laws essentially eliminate a lot of Europeans from immigrating; we would have got tons of eastern europeans in the 1990s, but nepotistic immigration laws favor the Shilpa Petty's of this world.

  • ||

    This isn't totally accurate. As a spouse or fiance/e it can take as little as 2 years to get your greencard (as it did for me). Additionally, as a spouse you do not have to wait 6 years to become a citizen - its actually 3.

  • ||

    We don't need peasants, we don't need more computer programmers.

    Uh who gives you the right to decide what this country needs?
    And the Constitution does not state who we let in and who we keep out. It is a framework of the government.
    And just for your information, the wave of immigration at the turn of the 20th century provided the cheap labor that industrialized the U.S., propelling the economy. So immigration does benefit society.
    Immigrants also pay taxes
    If anything, it keeps the prices of your fruits and vegetables low because they can pay farmworkers abysmal wages.
    What gives you the right to condemn the new immigrants when everyone is an immigrant or descended from one?

  • ||

    Part of the good and bad of immigrant visas is that the US government places a limit of 1,000,000 immigrant visas per year to be parsed out to the whole world. The rationing is divided up based on the mumber of applicants from each country. Depending on what country you come from, the procedures are the same, but the wait time may be longer or shorter depending on how many people in line ahead of you. Just for example, lets take Mexico. If Mexico is allowed, for the sake of argument, 10% of all visas, then they are allowed 100,000 people to come to the US per year. Now, if there 20,000,000 Mexican people that want to come to the US, then the guy at the end of the line will get his visa approved approximately 200 years after he submits his application.

    Granted, we can't let everyone that wants to come here have a visa. We can't sustain that kind of population growth and our ecomony can't grow fast enough to keep that many people working. But, as a nation founded by immigrants, we do like to keep giving out that chance at the American dream.

    I personally don't think anyone ought to get to steal it. If you didn't get in line, then get out now! I am following the rules and I don't like waiting for my fiance to get her chance in line while other just hop the fence. I have personally had the pleasure of having 22 people deported that shouldn't have been here in the first place. I will continue to do this for as long as it takes to rid my hometown of illegal aliens.

  • zachary||

    isn't it easier to enforce on the employment side of illegal immigrants..meaning more strict enforcement/penalties for anyone hiring these people?

  • cyhung||

    neat graphic. i think it very effectively sum up the various paths and the woes of this process. one of the most explanatory piece on this process i've seen.

    i do wish the cartoon characters used to "represent" a group are a little less stereotypical. another major impediment is the costs. forget lawyer fees. application fees paid to the government are not a small amount to bear.

  • ||

    Immgration it's a sensative issue, but it's extremely important to make sure we as human beings are protected and respected. We are more than just immigrants, we are the present and future for this country and ours too!
    Best regards,
    Maria J. Salgado

  • Survey Magnet||

    We have an interesting debate going on the immigration issue at:

    http://www.surveymagnet.com/20.....in-the-us/

    Come join the discussion.

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    Hey, I was wondering if there is any way I could get a larger size of this file? Absolutely love it. Please let me know!

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  • دردشه||

    You'll need your tin foil to keep your prozac in

  • Armeet||

    Morally, how is it any different to deny someone their freedom of association based on where they were born, than based on their race?

    Nobody gets to chose where they are born just like nobody gets to chose their race. So why should either limit someone's rights? Note well that I am talking about purely negative rights here, not the capital we inherit from our parents or community.

    One day, we well look back in shame at the practice of immigration control (=segregation by birthplace) the same way that today we look back in shame at the practice racial segregation.

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