In the analysis of the Brexit referendum election, one of the top issues experts believe drove the Leave campaign to victory was immigration. Specifically, the inability of the United Kingdom to control immigration. For voters, the issue came down to two elements of immigration: its impact on jobs and how immigrants were changing British culture.
These concerns mirror sentiments in the United States on immigration. Given the role it played in propelling him to the Republican nomination, it is certain immigration will play a prominent role in Donald Trump’s campaign. Similarly, with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, Hillary Clinton likely will push the issue as well.
What should America do to solve its long-standing, polarizing and complex immigration system?
First, America should strongly encourage the world’s best and brightest risk-takers to come here to work with us, rather than go somewhere else to work against us. Instead of having a visa system based on arbitrary caps set by government bureaucrats, we should construct a visa system based on demonstrated need – meaning, each year, employers would inform the federal government how many foreign workers they expect to hire for that year. Prior to receiving a visa for a foreign worker, the employer would need to certify that it first tried to hire an American citizen and detail the efforts it made to do so.
By Matt A. Mayer for AEI
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