An unskilled age 35 Haitian who immigrates to USA increases his/her income immediately by a factor of seven (7). That is the most efficient aid program on the planet. An average immigrant from Uganda or Vietnam does not gain quite so much. But the economics of immigration to the US are very clear empirically — more immigration enriches the whole country. So skilled immigration is truly a No Brainer. Here’s Alex Tabarrok in The Atlantic:
In The No Brainer Issue of the Year I wrote:
Behind Door #1 are people of extraordinary ability: scientists, artists, educators, business people and athletes. Behind Door #2 stand a random assortment of people. Which door should the United States open?
Once again, as the NYTimes reports, our dysfunctional political system has opted for Door #2:
A Republican bill to provide permanent resident visas for foreigners who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees in science and technology failed to pass the House on Thursday, a setback for technology companies that had strongly supported it.
…[The bill] would have eliminated an annual lottery and instead allocated 55,000 visas for legal permanent residency, known as green cards, each year to foreigners who have completed master’s and doctoral degrees from American universities in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.