So I was thinking about the large discussion we've been having about immigration and the reasons why immigrating legally are heavily problematic. It's been said that our system is broken, but I rarely hear about the reasons why it's broken. So I was listening to an old Planet Money episode on npr the other day, and it did list some of the problems.
The first problem is that we have the of people legally allowed to immigrate from each country annually. That's great if you are from a small country with a low population because your odds of getting in are pretty good, but its terrible if you live in a place like Mexico or India. In fact low skill people from Mexico may need to wait an average 130 years to legally immigrate to the US. Even a computer programmer from India would have to wait around 35 years just to get here. This is problematic, not just for them, but for us. If we don't offer people a reasonable legal method of immigration, they will either lose interest decreasing the potential for diversity and intelligence to be in our country, or they will turn to other means of immigration.
The second problem is that our immigration system is, like most things, easier if you are rich. For instance in this episode one immigrant from Britain found out that he could immigrate by investing half a million dollars in a company expected to employ ten people. Certainly not a bad thing, but ten people is awfully small to grant something others may have to wait 130 years to obtain.