I post on immigration quite a bit here at The Glittering Eye and if a reader leaps into a single post I think it’s quite possible that readers new to the site may get the wrong impression so I like to try to express my views explicitly every once in a while. I’m not opposed to immigration. I’m opposed to our present immigration policies because I think they’re too focused on the immigrants and a very narrow cohort of Americans and not enough on Americans more generally.
I’m skeptical that we need to import more unskilled workers, particularly when the cost to the society per individual is rising rapidly as is the case today. If the market clearing price for unskilled labor were rising sharply, it would be different. But that hasn’t been the case for, probably, the last half century.
I’m also skeptical that we need to import more technology workers, particularly when viewed in combination with our other immigration policies. Once again if the market clearing price for workers with specific information technology skills were rising sharply, my view might be different. But that hasn’t been the case for a decade.
What policies do we need? I think we need a central clearing house for H-1B visas—a web site where companies post the jobs for which they are seeking visas and face stiff penalties for offering below-market wages. I think we ought to abandon family reunification and diversity credits in our immigration policy. I think that we should require a command of English for new immigrants. I think we should crack down on abuse of H-1B and L-1 visas. And there are better ways of helping refugees than importing them.
I think that about sums it up.