The immigration policy in the US is messed up. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare. Politicians use fear and one time anecdotes to make points. For every family that is broken up because of immigration policy, you’ll hear a story about a welfare mom that trekked across the border just to have her baby.
Professor Gary Becker (RIP) proposed the best solution: Charge for Immigration. There is demand for immigrants, and a supply willing to come here. Other countries already have a black market price. There are stories of HB1 visa crony capitalism being undertaken by Hillary Clinton’s brother when she was Secretary of State. Politicians use the power of their office to advantage friends and hide behind bureaucracy when they are caught. Becker simplifies it and gets rid of all bureaucracy by turning immigration into a market. Markets are the best allocators of resources humans know of.
Absent Becker Solution, Brad Feld blogged about a new program they are trying in Colorado and it would be cool to try it here in Illinois as well. Goodness knows we can use anyone in the world that wants to come to Chicago and be an entrepreneur. Craig Montouri is spearheading it and I wish them well.
All of America is starved for talent. Many people come here from other countries, go to college, get advanced degrees, and would love to stay. Instead, our bureaucracy sends them home. I urge you to watch the Becker video as he explains the network effects that happen with immigration.
On Twitter yesterday, #LetPJStay was a trending hashtag. PJ is an entrepreneur that is building a company. He came here from Belgium. Due to the bureaucracy, he will be deported. I signed the petition, and I hope you can too no matter what your political stripe is.
Here is a short video on the plight of PJ
I haven’t checked out who is behind this and I don’t care. I know that each political faction will use PJ as a football. It’s not important if PJ’s company fails or succeeds, but I am glad he is trying. He has raised capital, created jobs, and is trying to move society forward. If he doesn’t make it this time, maybe he will next time. Or maybe he will be like other entrepreneurs and continuously churn out successful companies creating a lot of value. No one knows until we give him the chance.
The broader point is this:
I love America. Medal of Honor recipient Herschel “Woody” Williams once told me, “I owe America a debt I can never repay. I was born an American citizen.”, and I agree with him. I want to share my country with anyone that wants to come here and become productive. That means entrepreneurs and it means ditch diggers too.
We are the world’s shining city on the hill.