Immigration Law

How Would 'Merit-Based' Systems Change US Immigration?

David Iaconangelo, CSM, Mar. 2, 2017 - "Points-based systems, as the models are generally known, seek to determine how useful a prospective immigrant is for the national economy, with points assigned to factors like education, profession, and linguistic proficiency. Family connections often help, too – in Canada, for instance, you can get points if you have family relations already living there. But the difference in priorities is clear: in 2012, for instance, Canada awarded about 60 percent of its permanent resident visas through the points system. In 2013, by contrast, the United States issued 66 percent of that type of visa on the basis of family ties. A change in tack might prove popular with the broader public, says Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration attorney who teaches immigration law at Cornell University. ... Reform toward a more points-based system, then, could be based on any of the diverse models already in use elsewhere. “I don’t know to what extent those systems work better or worse than ours. You’d have to talk to people in those countries,” says Mr. Yale-Loehr. But, he adds, “Congress is going to have to face this philosophical debate if they’re going to be able to tackle immigration reform more than once every 25 years.”