In this episode we discuss: A. What the Canadian merit-based model looks like. B. Who Jared Kushner has consulted with for Immigration Policy. C.The effects of immigration on higher education.
Donald Trump signed off on White House Advisor, Jared Kushner’s immigration plan and turned it over to Senate Republicans.
The specifics of the immigration plan are supposed to be unveiled any day, and we expect it will have two parts:
1. Border Security: We can assume that the program will include stricter and tougher border security measures that may involve the use of enhanced technology.
2. Immigration Reform: Donald Trump has signaled for a shift toward merit-based immigration, similar to the Canadian model that has been adopted by New Zealand.
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David: Hi, its Dave Kelso, welcome to Onlinevisas.com The Immigration Show. Sitting here with Attorney at Law and CEO of OnlineVisas.com - Jon Velie.
Jon, this time I want to talk to you about some current immigration events.
Jon: Okay let’s do it.
David: Immigration has been in the news a lot lately and finding factual information can be kind of tricky. Jared Kushner White House Advisor has unveiled an immigration plan. I want you to tell me what you know about the plan for the United States. Who is for it, who is against it. Let’s start with Mr. Kushner’s plan, what is it?
Jon: Well we don’t know what the plan is yet, Dave. He gave his plan to the Senate Republicans yesterday. He has gotten sign off on it from Donald Trump, but they haven’t unveiled it yet. This is something that he has been working on for months and it will be interesting. Now, what we do know is that it is going to contain two parts. One is going to be border security and I think we can assume that it is going to be harder - tougher border security. The second is going to be a reformation of immigration maybe and what is called a merit-based - a merit-based immigration.
What we have heard, because we haven’t seen it - is that Donald Trump wants to base merit-based immigration like what Canada has done. The Canadian model has been the basis of what Australia has done and I believe New Zealand.
David: Merit-based anything sounds like a good idea to me.
Jon: well, it does and there are pros and cons to it. Ironically, all business immigration, and ⅓ of immigration is business immigration, all of that is merit-based immigration - absolutely all of it. And there are thirty plus visas, if you go to OnlineVisas.com we have videos on every one of these visas, they are all merit-based, they are all difficult and they become more difficult to get.
So what is the Canadian one? Canada gives a point system, some of them are merit-based and some of them aren’t. Like for example you get more points if you are fluent in English or French. So we might see that in part of the deal. We may see points that would make sense for education. The higher the education, the higher the points. We might see more points for a higher salary - that may make sense as well.
We may see points for having relatives in the United States, that is what Canada has. But that sort of triggers what the Trump administration has been against - and that is family-based or chain migration, and ⅔ of immigration is family-based. So we do not know if it will have those sorts of things, but should somebody get more points because there is a job that they meet the requirement of?
So the devil will be in the details. Canadians aren’t in love with their immigration system, it has its problems - and you know it will really be what it is. The interesting thing about it this is how the Trump administration does immigration anyway. It is all veiled and then they sort of launch it at you. Like the muslim ban that got attacked in the courts and things like that. You know what usually happens when you reform a law like taxes or immigration or environmental issues? You put out these new regulations, these proposed regulations, and then you go into a comment period, you don’t rush into it and you see what all of the stakeholders think.
Like does Jared Kushner, who is not an immigration attorney or practitioner of this really know how to reform immigration - and who is he asking? There are some interesting points there. SO who did he talk to (recently) is important at the Senate.
Well one of them is Chuck Grassley, who is the Senator from Iowa. Chuck Grassley has launched, for ten years - before Trump power - he had the reformation of the L1 and H1-B visa and he was really wanting to gut it for all practical purposes. So what USCIS has done recently is employ a bunch of Grassley staffers and Chiefs of Staff. Francis Cissna and some others have gone into immigration and made immigration harder from the business side. So we will probably see his footprinting on it, but we don’t know.
So here is what is really interesting about that - Donald Trump just announced that he wants to increase the number of H-2B visas, which are seasonal, non-sophisticated employees like laborers, people who work in hotels…
David: Farm workers
Jon: Farm workers are H-2As, but you are in the same ballpark. But for Donald Trump, he owns hotels. So really the people within his, kind of circle, that have been supporting him on the border security side are not fans of the H-2B visa. Donald Trump is a fan of the H-2B visa because he owns hotels.So there is some breaking on who would be for this and who would be against it.
A lot of the folks that Jared Kushner recently met with, have wanted to limit immigration - they have suggested cutting immigration in half. Which is really kind of nonsensical, if you think about it. Now the Trump administration has touted that they have lowered unemployment - there are less Americans that need jobs right now and it is at a record-low number. Well who is going to do the jobs if it is not going to be people from other countries? So cutting immigration while companies need to hire people doesn’t make any sense at all.
David: No it doesn’t, but it appeals to your base.
Jon: That’s right and so the base has sort of been taught and trained that immigration is bad, but its not. Companies need to hire people, they need to hire the best people they can, it needs to competitive.
We are a global country in a global marketplace. Our companies are around the world, they need to be able to move their people back and forth between their various branches. Companies that are in the tech industry that have a negative unemployment rate in some cities, have open jobs and not enough people to do them. There are many people willing to do them, many of which went to school in our country. You know they spent their money here, they paid out-of-state and out-of-country tuition, they are ready to go into the job force and its become hard on them.
We will see what happens, but with the increase of H-2Bs and what Jared Kushner says is an “immigration numbers neutral policy,” maybe something will be workable in that - and we’ll see and evolve with it as we go.
David: We will have to keep an eye on it. Definitely want to have a conversation with you one day about why we bring the best and the brightest here and give them the best and the brightest education and then kick them back out of the country again.
Jon: Let’s touch on that quickly, because this has been huge in education. So U.S. World and Reports ranks the best Universities in the world. Of the top 10 universities in the world, eight of them are in the United States. Two of them, like Oxford and Cambridge are six and seven. We are dominating education because it has been more difficult for foreign-national graduates to get jobs in our economy, they are going home.
But one quarter of the number of Chinese and one quarter of the number of Indians chose not come into the United States to go to school. There is 5 billion dollars in tuition for each - so there has been over a billion dollars, for each, that has not come to the United States in the last few years. There is not a lot of discussion about that on the immigration debate, but it is really hurting universities. And if you think about it, the American students in our state cools are paying less than the out-of-state tuition and far less than the out-of-country tuition. Many universities are relying on out-of-country people to pay the highest amount to keep their doors open.
David: To subsidize the American Kids
Jon: Yes, to subsidize the American kids, and we need them in our economy. But we are telling them “no thanks, you’re not going to get a job,” so they are not coming to school here. These are the unintended consequences of the blanket let’s be tough on immigration policy.
David: That’s Jon Velie attorney at law and CEO for OnlineVisas.com, I’m Dave Kelso - make sure you get a chance to subscribe or like this page. Also drop Jon an email at Jon@velielaw.com for a copy of his bestselling H-1B Visas: Application and Approval book. Thanks for the information.
Jon: And check out OnlineVisas.com, we have a lot of people going there, over 1,000 people a day checking out our website. Wew have news, videos and this podcast will be there. Thanks a lot.