Immigration Is a Bright Spot in the America COMPETES Act

Not everything in the bill would keep America competitive, but the immigration provisions certainly would.


This week, House Democrats introduced the America COMPETES Act of 2022, a nearly 3,000-page bill that is supposed to strengthen supply chains and bolster American innovation. Many of its provisions have little to do with preserving American prosperity. But there's one area where the bill really would make things better: immigration.

The COMPETES Act proposes two new nonimmigrant visa programs, one for "entrepreneurs with an ownership interest in a start-up entity" and one for "essential employees of a start-up entity." (The visas also cover their spouses and children.) Under the legislation, the Department of Homeland Security would set up pathways for high-skilled, entrepreneurial foreigners to come to the U.S. for an initial three-year period. They would be eligible for extensions based on certain criteria, such as securing investments, creating jobs, and generating revenue. The bill would make it easier for foreigners with "an ownership interest in a start-up entity" to petition for permanent residence.

The bill would also exempt foreigners with doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics from country-based numerical limits on immigrant visas. Under the Immigration Act of 1990, the Migration Policy Institute reports, "no country can receive more than 7 percent of the total number of employment-based and family-sponsored preference visas in a given year." In countries where there is high demand for these visas, applicants often face extreme wait times. Back in 2018, the Cato Institute's David J. Bier noted that Indians with advanced degrees applying for EB-2 visas were facing a 151-year wait. The COMPETES Act's doctoral STEM graduates provision would help ease this strained and dysfunctional processing apparatus.

Democratic politicians are marketing the COMPETES Act as a way to outcompete and rebuke China. It therefore includes some provisions making it easier for groups persecuted by the Chinese government to come to the U.S. The bill would provide 18 months of "temporary protected status and refugee status for qualifying Hong Kong residents." It would also allow 5,000 high-skilled Hongkongers to immigrate to America each year.

Another section, the Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act, would grant priority refugee admission status to current and former residents of China's Xinjiang province. Uyghurs there are experiencing brutal persecution and up to 1.5 million may be in internment camps, according to the United Nations. The U.S. has admitted zero Uyghur refugees in the past two fiscal years, making this prioritization all the more overdue.

The immigration provisions aren't perfect. The startup employee visa sets low caps on the number of foreigners who may be employed by a participating startup at a given time. Foreigners applying for the startup and doctoral STEM graduate visas would have to pay a $1,000 fee, which serves as a serious barrier to entry.

But the bill is right to recognize that immigrants are key to keeping this country prosperous. It's also one of the biggest advantages the U.S. has over China. When we welcome foreigners to our soil—either because of the persecution they are fleeing or the skills they bring with them—we preserve our competitive edge and ensure that the best ideas and talent can prosper within our borders.

NEXT: Congress' Latest Attempt To Rein In Big Tech Will Hurt Consumers

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  1. I can’t see democrats being happy about bringing more Asians to this country.

    1. Really, doesn't Prof Amy Wax say that the Asians all vote for Democrats.

      1. That they don’t mind being abused by democrats is their business.

  2. Nothing says COMPETITION like a permanent minority underclass.



      1. How are we to remain competitive if people are too comfortable?

  3. The economic rise of China was tied to allowing entrepreneurship. As China tightens down on business people, we can win by allowing those people to come here. A double win for us.

    1. Definitely. The big mistake China is making now is retreating from capitalistic principles for totalitarian control.

  4. >>Democratic politicians are marketing the COMPETES Act as a way to outcompete and rebuke China.

    super-easy all we need to do is import two billion people and force them to work in camps.

    1. Clearly if we import all the people in the world our standard of living will improve.

      1. I'd prefer we annex the planet and leave them where they are though. I like the space we're all in now.

  5. It's too bad that you can't just write a bill that's focused on immigration and no other issue and have Congress deal with that.

    Let's look at the wide issues that are being discussed in this bill.

    1) Getting the Department of Energy to coordinate with NASA to research the effects of radiation in different environments
    2) Authorizes the Department of Energy to research fundamental cosmic phenomena
    3) Extends more funding for graduate students in STEM fields to get tutors and mentors.
    4) Researching ways to promote Equity and Diversity in Tech fields
    5) Directs the DHS and NTIA to submit a report on the cybersecurity of mobile networks and devices
    6) Creates a new office in the Department of Commerce focused on Supply Chain Resilency
    7) Grants loans and grants to build more solar component manufacturing facilities
    8) Authorizes $90 million to the State Department to hire contractors to help deal with supply chain issue specifically in China
    9) Review and change in of Taiwan's diplomatic status, including renaming an office in DC to reflect representation for Taiwan
    10) Increasing oversight on the use of AI in Counterterrorism investigations
    11) Orders the Department of Homeland Security to begin spending at last 33% of their uniforms budget in Small Businesses
    12) Granting the authority to DHS to revoke port privileges for international fishing vessels to help combat human trafficking.

    Clearly, all of these concepts are so closely related that we have to include them in a bill that is dealing with America's immigration policy. And your only options on this bill are to vote yes/no, there's no other nuanced response allowed.

    1. So of the things you listed from the bill, none actually help with invocation or supply chain issues, and almost all are dumb, only number 9 is even halfway a good idea. So, the only thing that really would help even the slightest is the immigration portion (and not who DHS buys their uniforms from), but even that is a half ass provision. Why limit the exemptions on work visas to just PhD holders? Why not anyone who graduates from a US University, Vocational school or technical school? How many PhDs actually start their own businesses, but plenty of people with tech school vocational school or bachelor's start their own businesses. Fucking Democrats, even when they do something halfway good they still show their fucking elitism.

  6. This broad is sure working hard to sell books for Ed Dutton.

    Witches, Feminism, and the Fall of the West

    The archetype of the "witch" is burnt deep into the European psyche, recurring again and again in folklore and fairytales. But is she merely the stuff of fantasy? Roald Dahl warned that witches don't always don black hats and ride on broom sticks. They "dress in ordinary clothes, and look very much like ordinary women. . . . That is why they are so hard to catch."

    In Witches, Feminism and the Fall of the West, Edward Dutton examines the history of witches and witch-hunting in light of evolutionary psychology. Throughout the centuries, witches were ostracized across Europe and often condemned and executed for sorcery and harming children. They generally adhered to a type: witches were low-status, anti-social, and childless, and their very presence was viewed as poisonous to the community. Dutton demonstrates that witches did, in their way, represent a maladaptive mentality and behavior, which undermined Europe's patriarchal system. When times got tough-that is, when Europe got poorer or colder-the witches were persecuted with a vengeance.

    Today, the evolutionary situation has been turned on its head. The intense selection pressures of the past have been overcome by the Industrial Revolution and its technological marvels. Modern witches survive and thrive in the postmodern West, still possessed by the motivations and dispositions of their sisters of yore. "Sorcery" (nihilism and self-hatred) is no longer taboo but has become a high-status ideology. Roald Dahl was all-too correct. Witches do exist, and they mean to do us harm.

    1. Not a bad quote, but, I do have one quibble, almost every single culture in the world has the concept of witches (rather they use that name or not) and they are almost always universally bad. I remember that from my Anthropology professor. She stated all cultures have the concept of witches, and none of them are "good" witches, which really upset the Wiccans in our class.

  7. Yay, another multi-thousand page bill designed to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on who-knows-what to accomplish absolutely nothing.

    Can we stop with this game where we try to find the silver lining in all the garbage bills put forth in DC? If my whole house is washed away by a river of human sludge, I don't cheer about the fancy whiskey flask that just happened to get washed up into the remains of my foundation.

    1. It gives money to the people that asked the congress critters to give them money. So it accomplishes that.

    2. What about the three hundred pound flathead catfish now on your front lawn?

    3. Yes, fucking we need an amendment banning fucking omnibus bills.
      All this is is just another bill with a good sounding name, and one or two good things in it, and the rest is pure partisan bullshit that they know the Republicans can't support, so that they can go on TV and say "see, the Republicans are against us solving the supply chain problem". Because now the Democrats want to talk about addressing the economic woes most Americans are dealing with, and hoping to change the narrative before November.

      1. I totally agree with your feeling on omnibus bills but would point out that they tend to be a feature of our current political divide. In Wisconsin our legislature must pass one bill each year, the budget. Because of this requirement the budget bill gets larded up with things that have nothing to do with the state budget. In the same way the political divide that says no bill by the other party will pass with our party's consent leads to giant bills to get all the majority party votes.

        Image if we had more bipartisan cooperation with moderates from both parties compromising on simpler, smaller bills containing points of agreement. Image if you could tell extremist in your own party, we don't need your vote because we can get six votes from the other party. That is what I think is needed.

  8. Hey look! Democrats aren't raising the federal minimum wage. But they are doing things that make the Koch-funded libertarians of happy because they'll increase Charles Koch's supply of cost-effective foreign-born labor.

    I believe there's even a Reason commenter who predicted this is exactly how a Biden Administration would play out. 😉


  9. And in other news 1.9 Million illegal invaders invade the USA.

    At that rate; the USA will be completely over-ran, taken-over and drained by illegal trespassers who don't care about the USA at all only what's in it for them in 60-years.

    Oh; yep... That is indeed exactly what is happening.

    I don't leave my front door open for just anyone who wonders in so why the F is reason pretending massive invasion and exploitation of the USA is suppose to be "good"? Start with ending Nazi theft then we can talk about inviting "good" people to join the USA.

  10. So to the currently 40 million prime-aged adults unemployed workers you say too bad we need others to take these jobs? Not to say the other negatives such as clogged roads, overburdened schools and healthcare and unaffordable housing and taxes.

    Lets invest in our citizens first and remove other impediments. Our labor force participation is much lower than many EU countries… So tired of the immigration propaganda pushing the corp wage suppression agenda.

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