Most people have no idea of what kind of immigration policy they want for the country they live in (or the country of citizenship if they differ). When asked, even people who think they know what they want only list half a policy – that is the criteria for entry. But that’s only half the question, you have no policy unless your recommendations also include
- who you don’t want to allow in the country,
- how you expect to keep them out,
- what you want to do to them if they make it in anyway.
I’m no exception. I don’t have a clear, consistent idea of a coherent policy for either the US (citizenship country) or Poland (where I actually live).
I have the basics of an ideal pie-in-the-sky policy for the US but it’s impossible to implement so it’s all irrelevant.
Hungarian border fence failing to be useless….
Rather than “skills based” immigration (a wish list rather than a policy) my wish list would be based on “cultural affinity” and “willingness to assimilate”.
But this is just for immigrants. Part of the modern degradation of rational though about migration (and other issues) involves impoverishing language so that people can’t think very clearly. Toward that end I’ve come up with a preliminary taxonomy of people who migrate but no one seems interested in the idea that different people have different values and agendas and crossing a border doesn’t change those.
So, for me “immigrant” means a person who moves to another country in order to join a new society (sensu largo). People whose primary intention is to be gastarbeiters (working temporarily for higher money than they can make at home) are an entirely different category and won’t fit in to immigration policy.
That’s why I don’t like “skills based” programs which reward contacts and formal qualifications but not internal values. I’d much rather a poor semi-skilled person with an individual orientation whose not very hierarchical and isn’t afraid of new ideas over a super-skilled person who thinks of their family as a corporate unite and doesn’t want any ideas in the new country to ‘contaminate’ their way of doing things.
By “willingness to assimilate” I’m referring to children born in the new country rather than the parents (adults don’t assimilate – at most they integrate to some degree).
I’m in favor of people immigrating who are perfectly happy with their children rejecting the parents’ culture (or cultivating it privately). I’m in favor of adults who can accept the idea that their children born in the new country will be more like the children in the new country and will be free to reject most or all of the parent’s world view and culture (including religion).
Of course my policy is impossible to implement but there it is (or at least there’s one part of it).