While immigration debates are complex, there are some issues which we all may agree upon. The key point of agreement is that our laws are in drastic need of innovation.
I took immigration law almost 25 years ago. Laws on asylum and refugee status need to be updated as they have not been substantially changed since before Barack Obama and I were in law school.
Unlike most politicians and pundits, I have lived for periods of time or worked in countries such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia and China. To parrot what President Donald Trump says, their laws are so much smarter than ours.
For instance, I almost got deported from Mexico for overstaying a visa many years ago.
However, I soon learned that all I needed to do was to pay the government fine, pay the government office, pay the lawyer or notary and everybody was happy. You can obtain an extended visa very quickly.
Every country treats immigration and visas as a for-profit cottage industry except for the U.S. because our leaders are either stupid or want cheap labor to put our most disenfranchised people out of jobs.
Some countries in the Arabian region require an “up-front" annual visa fee which is a lot of money, but people gladly pay it to work there, get good jobs, or have the business friendly laws and tax structures.
As for China, you can have a visa for a while and you simply need to leave and pay money to come back every few months with a new extended visa. If you visited in the past, you could pay an express visa fee in Hong Kong and go to the mainland the next day.
As for working abroad at a job, it is illegal in most other countries to visit there and then decide to work there. This is to prevent you from taking the jobs from the locals while visiting. Further, many countries do not want you to visit or stay unless you can prove you have the money to finance your visit.
To give you a humorous story, one of my friends from France tried to immigrate to Australia. He told me that the Australians did an analysis of his finances, and they said that he did not have enough money to sustain a standard of living for his estimated life expectancy for retirement etc. You can’t make this story up.
As an aside, some pundits have said that there should never be a religious test for immigration. However, asylum laws since Obama was in school actually have religious oppression tests already built into them. I suspect that most asylum files contain a religious oppression section where you must say what your religion is and claim that the majority religion of the foreign nation has put your life in danger.
The immigration system can also be viewed as being rigged by past politicians. I remember looking at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s website a few years ago and the State Department had published some immigration diversity immigrant policies that allowed for an increase in immigration from underserved regions of the world.
Honestly, that type of system has a discriminatory and disparate impact on millions of families that have wanted to come here for years and have been saving money to immigrate.
Further, for many years there have been enterprise zone visas that businesses and wealthy folks can pay for to come to the U.S.. These visas can cost up to 1 million or more. I would encourage this administration to expand that program to assist in financing the costs of immigration and ICE.
In conclusion, anyone who watched a single speech by President Trump or his campaign team would have noticed that the president was the first in my lifetime to aggressively desire to increase immigration of top students and top technical skilled persons from countries around the world. This would be an expansion of H-1B visas for the most qualified immigrants.
Overall, there are 55 nations and territories in the American hemispheres. We must innovate our NAFTA and immigration laws to support a sustainable system of immigration from these other countries where they are all treated equally.
With 65,000 women, men and children dying from drug deaths in 2016 (up 500% under Obama), we are at a critical point in history where we need to fix our customs enforcement and borders to prevent tainted drugs and products from entering our nation so easily.
In the end, we all want fair immigration and fair trade for the people, we sincerely want the system to be fair those who are already waiting in line to come here.
George Mentz JD MBA CWM Chartered Wealth Manager ® is a licensed attorney and CEO of GAFM ® global education, which is an ISO 29990 Certified professional development company operating in over 50 nations. Mentz is an award winning author and advisory board member to several companies around the world in education, charities, and crypto currency.
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