An emphasis on skilled workers would boost growth and reduce a feared nativist backlash
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President Trump’s crackdown on immigrants committing crimes and employers abusing H-1B visas to replace qualified Americans with low-wage foreign workers may be welcome. However, those fall far short of the comprehensive reform needed to better align immigration policy with the needs of the country.
The United States has about 45 million immigrants and annually adds another 1.5 million. About one-quarter are illegal, but their total number has not changed much in recent years, owing mostly to declining birth rates and more robust economic growth in developing countries.
In contrast to many other industrialized countries, the United States places much greater emphasis on family reunification. Green cards are granted virtually automatically to spouses, children under 21 and parents of U.S. citizens. Subject to limits set by Congress and the president, entry is granted to other relatives
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