Last night my wife and I had the parents of two friends of our older boys over for dinner. The parents in question are smart, educated, and talented people—he’s from New Zealand and she’s from Japan. They relocated to Silicon Valley from New Zealand about five years ago. He’s a computer scientist who has started and sold two small technology companies – one of which had millions of monthly users. He’s now working on some new ideas in the commercial drone space. Despite being well-educated and fluent in English, she is not able to work in the U.S. because of the visa they are on.
I asked the father of my boys’ friends whether their kids were likely to stay in the U.S. for college—he said he had no idea, because he had no idea whether he could even get his visa extended in 18 months—evidently whatever type he is on cannot lead to a green card. He has entered the 2018 Green Card lottery.
His is not the first story of this kind I have heard after years of living in Silicon Valley.
Let’s stop and ponder this for a second. Here’s a talented and successful engineer. He’s started two successful companies and is working on an exciting new one—who knows, perhaps the next Google or Amazon? And yet he’s not sure that he can stay in the U.S. because of visa issues. Yet, we have no problem letting in tens of thousands of unskilled Somalis, a not insignificant number of whom have attempted to join the Islamic state? Trump was in Minneapolis today hitting the Somali refugee issue that has been shamefully ignored by our mainstream media. In San Francisco, (joined by hundreds of other sanctuary cities) we refuse to deport known criminal aliens, such as Francisco Sanchez who recently killed Kate Steinle in broad daylight in a popular San Francisco tourist area.
The GOP has had a good set of policies on skilled immigration, though they don’t talk about them enough: Most notably the GOP voted for the STAPLE Act, which would have made it much easier for American-trained scientists and engineers of foreign backgrounds to get green cards—this increase in skilled immigrants would have been perfectly offset by a corresponding reduction in immigration through the elimination of a “diversity” visa category, which was, predictably, opposed by the Congressional Black and Hispanic caucuses. For those lawmakers, protecting racial prerogatives was more important than making sure we brought in and kept the most talented immigrants, regardless of ethnic background.
In the Democrats’ dystopian future, America has no control of its borders—we bring in millions of immigrants who don’t have the skills we need or who are security risks. As the Center for Immigration Studies has shown, we are bringing in immigrants who are much more likely to use welfare programs of all types than are native-born Americans. Meanwhile, highly skilled English-speaking engineers have to hope they win the visa lottery just to stay in the country. This is not the serious policy of a 21st-century superpower—it’s just insanity—unless you think the only purpose of immigration policy is to churn out voters who are dependent on the government, and on the political party that will deliver more of it.