Why family-based immigration is important

NBC News: “So what are Trump and those who oppose family-based immigration missing? They are overlooking two critical ways that giving visas to relatives of immigrants facilitates integration: the practical work involved, and the support it provides for our civic life. Coming to the country via family connections is not unfair or crooked, as some of those who oppose the practice today claim. It is an essential element of one of America’s greatest achievements, creating a coherent, multicultural national identity. …

“Primarily rewarding the educated and well-off with green cards reduces to a form of economic transaction our process of converting foreigners into citizens. It is not designed to cultivate the sense of belonging and motivation for civic learning and participation that would support our form of government into the future. Don’t we want something more from a new American?”

Of course, there’s no reason in principle why a point system such as Trump proposes couldn’t award points for having family members already here.

One thought on “Why family-based immigration is important

  1. I don’t find this article particularly convincing. In particular, it doesn’t address Canada (which has a strongly skills-based system, I’ve read), the US between 1925 and 1965 (which was both de-jure skills-based, and de-facto skills-based due to exclusions from some regions), and the US before around 1880 (when the cost of transport filtered immigration by income). Did those situations integrate immigrants less quickly than the current US?

    The article also seems to assume that creating a “multicultural” society is a goal, which I suspect would command much less than majority support if it was put up to a vote.

    One point I’m wondering about is what would happen if a point system valued speaking English highly. A lot of the “social stresses” due to immigration centrally involve the effects of large subpopulations that don’t speak English. Could those stressed be reduced (and the politics made less poisonous) if the faction of non-English-speaking immigrants was sharply reduced?

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