Immigration

Trump Unveils Plan To Promote Skill-Based Immigration

But even that's a bridge too far for immigration restrictionists.

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President Trump unveiled a new legal immigration plan on Thursday that would favor merit-based immigration and high-skilled labor over prospective immigrants who already have family in the U.S.

Standing in the White House Rose Garden, Trump spoke unfavorably of family-based and lottery-based immigration. "Random selection," he argued, "is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world who have much to contribute."

Here's a handout the White House provided to reporters at Trump's address:

According to a chart, Trump's plan would boost skill-based immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent while decreasing family-based and lottery-based immigration by 50 percent.

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are noticeably absent from this plan. Prior to Trump's speech, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said plans for DACA were "left out on purpose." She deemed the issue "too divisive," as each Trump immigration plan that included DACA provisions has been shot down by Congress.

While Trump's proposal has obviously earned the ire of pro-immigration advocates, restrictionists have their own issues with the plan. 

As Reason's Matt Welch reported earlier in the week, the administration quietly raised the cap for H-2B visas, which allow non-agricultural laborers to do seasonal work in the country. Restrictionists like Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) claim that the importation of "cheap foreign labor" would drive down wages and harm non-college-educated Americans. Cotton has co-sponsored the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, which aims to cut the legal immigration rate by half.

Welch also noted that economists largely come to different conclusions when analyzing the relationship between low-cost labor and non-college-educated Americans. As Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy found, the impact, if there's any, is nowhere as dire as restrictionists like Cotton claim. Others have discovered a (similarly minimal) positive relationship between low-cost labor, non-college-educated Americans, and wages.

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  1. Libertarians pounce?

  2. Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are noticeably absent from this plan.

    See ya later fuckers.

    Follow the immigration rules or get the fuck out.

  3. Well the HELL with more high-skilled folks; we need more LOW skilled folks!!!

    And WHY is that? Because (take high-skilled dentists for example) dentists have the money and time with which to lobby (and hoot and holler in other ways) for protection of their racket, and limit the competition that they might face. Concentrated benefits and diffuse costs of special interests, as usual.

    I notice that my lawn-mower-dude from Stanstanstanistan does NOT lobby for more protection of HIS racket… Which is why I would take this bullshit about wanting more high-skill immigrants and fewer low-skill immigrants, and stand it on its head, exactly inverting it… Reward the people who do NOT lobby to fuck us all over! And then open up our doctor-lawyer-dentist-etc. schools for more admissions and fewer bullshit standards… WHY in the HELL does my dentist need to know about the Krebs Cycle anyway… And let my lawn-mower dude study and practice up, and do my teeth for me!

    1. Wouldn’t letting in more high-skill immigrants increase the competition they face?

      1. In professions like high tech (EEs and software engineers) where one does not HAVE to have endless degrees and licenses, there is no real competition under H-1B, because the immigrants are “indentured servants”, tied to their employer. They can’t leave to work for some other employer for higher pay, w/o endless paperwork and delays caused by Government Almighty. That’s why employers like them more than native-born American workers, is precisely because they ARE “indentured servants”. So no, no real free-market competition there…

        1. exactly correct.

      2. Now in the professions where there ARE endless requirements (from Government Almighty) for degrees and licenses (doctors, dentists, lawyers, for example), there, the competition is not always so much in order to give you, the consumer, better services for less money, the competition is for Government Almighty to protect them, the “professionals”, from their less-degreed and less-licensed competition… To throw up more road-blocks in the path of others who would like to compete with them! ALSO this group of professionals likes to politically agitate for Government Almighty to create more make-work for them!

        Make-work for lawyers consists of adding ever more regulations to adhere to for starting and running a business, for example. For hiring and firing. More regulations means more work for lawyers!

        Make-work for doctors consists of needing doctor examinations and paperwork for everyone and everything! If your kid wants to join the chess club at school, he’s got to get a physical before straining at lifting those chess pieces! And you’ve got to get a PRESCRIPTION before using ANYTHING that might be called a “medical device”, such as a cheap plastic flute called a “lung flute”!

        So… Doctors and lawyers don’t compete to serve you, they compete to get the politicians to help them fuck you over! The more of them that we import, the more that they can gang up on us to fuck us over!

        PS…
        To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

  4. “But even that’s a bridge too far for immigration restrictionists.”

    Trump opening up skills based, legal immigration isn’t enough for immigration enthusiasts either.

    If Trump negotiated an open borders treaty with Mexico, some of the immigration enthusiasts around here might oppose it on the basis that government has no right to weigh in on immigration issues at all.

    1. Might? Ilya somin definitely still writes here

      1. Shikha too. She prefers chain migration with instant social welfare eligibility while opposing any trade offs that favor skilled immigrants.

        1. Shikha can’t feel like an important cog in the managerial/intellectual class making $47k a year like her while servicing the oligarchy unless she can compare herself to a working class is so underpaid they live in slums and shit in the streets. She won’t be happy until America is a pure shithole like Brazil or India.

          she wants to look be bale to down from her shitty apartment and watch the mass of america living iin shit while she sips her pinot with her cat, mittens.

          https://compote.slate.com/images/ad57d465-a013-4daa-9592-6bfa487ac9b6.jpg

    2. Pedo Jeffy would definitely need his tears wiped away.

  5. The article isn’t very clear. Is there a net increase in immigration or simply a rebalancing of types of visas towards H1B?

    Anyway, the best way to secure the border is to open up legal immigration. If you’re really worried about the bad hombres, then screen the good ones and let them come across so that we’re not wasting resources catching the good hombres.

    1. Oh stop being reasonable. That kind of talk does not fly.

    2. Apparently it is neutral on the overall numbers. So a reduction in ‘extended family’ and lottery offset by an increase in H-1. It’s really not so much a ‘merit-based’ system as it is a ‘big-employer-based’ system since the ‘merit’ test is mostly checkboxes re employer sponsorship.

      1. Perversely, it will also lead to more illegal immigration since it throws about 4 million who were waiting on a waiting list off the waiting list. 3.5 million who are ‘extended family’ and roughly 500k who were ’employment-based’ but not necessarily at a level where they can get sufficient points now. Those folks are now incentivized to head over and stop obeying the rules cuz they just got screwed by the rules

        1. In the same sense as banks denying mortgage applications leads to an increase in bank robberies, yeah.

          The people immigrating illegally typically would not qualify for legal immigration anyway, nor would they bother waiting in line.

  6. “But even that’s not enough for open border fetishists.”

    1. Why do I get a mental picture of Mexican women in latex?

      1. Nice

      2. I’ll be in my bunk.

    2. The border should be open just enough to let in all the chicks that look like 20 year old Sofia Vergara. I’ll do my part by offering to board as many of them as I can shoehorn into my place.

  7. Trump can propose whatever he wants. Congress isn’t going to do squat, because they like the status quo despite claiming otherwise.

    1. I’ve heard there are pens and phones.

  8. Now if we could just get some skilled talent to migrate to congress and the White House we might get somewhere.

  9. Fuck, what do you mean by merit? People who work for less but do more are better than you or I. I see these Mexicans at Home Depot on Saturday just sitting under the trees waiting to work. Those people are better than us. I say keep them coming but maybe tax them a little more. If people weren’t so fuckin racist and aware they would welcome these people. Sure we should depot the ones who don’t work or cause any trouble but I have a feeling inflation remains so low because of this type of immigration combined with free trade. With Trump doing his pathetic best to fuck all this up I wouldn’t be surprised if inflation started freaking out especially if there’s a war in the ME that disrupts oil.

  10. I the USA to issue more visas. I’m getting too exhausted to debate details.

    1. I want the USA to issue more visas. Yeah, I really do need to take some time away from politics.

      1. “I want the USA to issue more visas.”

        Then you clearly MUST be forced to wear a blue “MALGA” hat, for “Make America LESS Great Again”!!!

        /Sarcasm…

  11. Buried in the mountain of prog dung is what actually happened–

    the administration quietly raised the cap for H-2B visas, which allow non-agricultural laborers to do seasonal work in the country.

    Everything else is spin.

  12. “Others have discovered a (similarly minimal) positive relationship between low-cost labor, non-college-educated Americans, and wages.”

    It’s always a bad sign when somebody denies that the normal rules of supply and demand aren’t going to apply to something.

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  14. […] and Matt Welch. Also discussed: Last night’s television finale, last week’s weirdly DOA Trump immigration plan, and of course the weekend’s biggest news in libertarian politics, namely the tweetstorm from […]

  15. […] and Matt Welch. Also discussed: Last night’s television finale, last week’s weirdly DOA Trump immigration plan, and of course the weekend’s biggest news in libertarian politics, namely the tweetstorm from […]

  16. Skill-based immigration is not a “bridge too far” to immigration restrictionists. They’re very much in favor of it. We just also recognize that immigration should be reduced. It’s a no-brainer.

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