12 New Immigration Ideas for the 21st Century

Policy analysts, economists, political scientists, journalists, and advocates from around the world offer new policy suggestions that future Congresses could use to liberalize the legal immigration system.

May 13, 2020 • White Paper
By Alex Nowrasteh, David J. Bier, Daniel Griswold, Stuart Anderson, Michael Clemens, Michelangelo Landgrave, Jack Graham, Rebekah Smith, Grover Norquist, Justin Gest, Steve Kuhn, Nathan Smith, & Robin Hanson
12 New Immigration Form Ideas Cover Art

12 New Immigration Ideas for the 21st Century

Policy analysts, economists, political scientists, journalists, and advocates from around the world offer new policy suggestions that future Congresses could use to liberalize the legal immigration system.

May 13, 2020 • White Paper
By Alex Nowrasteh, David J. Bier, Daniel Griswold, Stuart Anderson, Michael Clemens, Michelangelo Landgrave, Jack Graham, Rebekah Smith, Grover Norquist, Justin Gest, Steve Kuhn, Nathan Smith, & Robin Hanson


Congress has repeatedly considered and rejected comprehensive immigration reform legislation over the past few decades. The most bitter debates were in 2006, 2007, and 2013 when comprehensive bills passed one house of Congress and not the other. Those reforms each failed for particular reasons—groundswells of populist opposition, Democratic senators working with Republicans to remove guest worker provisions, or Republican failure to bring it to the floor in the House of Representatives—but the bills were all basically identical.

Those failed immigration reforms all included three policies: legalize illegal immigrants currently living in the United States, increase border and interior enforcement of the immigration laws, and liberalize legal permanent immigration and temporary migration through an expanded guest worker visa program for lower‐​skilled workers. A domestic amnesty for illegal immigrants was supposed to clear the black market and allow those who have made a life here to settle permanently; extra enforcement was supposed to reduce the potential for illegal immigrants to come in the future; liberalized immigration was supposed to boost U.S. economic prosperity and drive future would‐​be illegal immigrants into the legal market.

In theory, this comprehensive approach was supposed to make future amnesties unnecessary by fixing the laws that encouraged illegal immigration in the first place. The bill Congress considered in 2013, the last attempt at comprehensive immigration reform, followed the same model, which is a major reason the bill failed. For instance, the guest worker provisions for lower‐​skilled workers were all clones and the result of negotiations between the same stakeholders.

Liberalizing legal immigration is the most important component of workable, long‐​term reform. The legal immigration system sets and regulates numbers, procedures, and the types of foreigners who can come to the United States from abroad to work, live, and in some cases eventually naturalize. Providing legal paths for more immigrants, either for temporary work or permanent citizenship, is the best way to secure the border and would help provide for the future prosperity of the United States. The government cannot regulate a black market of illegal immigrants, but it can regulate legal immigrants.

Expanding legal immigration is a worthy goal, but there are many ways to accomplish it. The mission of this collection of essays from policy analysts, economists, political scientists, journalists, and advocates from around the world is to provide new policy suggestions that future Congresses could use to liberalize the legal immigration system. We intentionally avoided seeking proposals from the usual stakeholders and included many original ideas that could increase legal immigration or improve the selection of legal immigrants. The essays fall into four broad categories based on how much they would transform the current legal immigration system. The first category includes proposed rule changes that would substantially improve the current system. In one essay, Daniel Griswold of the Mercatus Center proposes that Congress abolish the static numerical caps on certain visas and instead create a built‐​in numerical escalator that automatically grows the number of visas as employment grows. For example, the number of H‐​1Bs issued would increase as employment in certain hightechnology sectors increases. Similarly, Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy recommends addressing the extreme wait times that skilled immigrants currently face by guaranteeing them legal permanent residence within five years, essentially replacing numerical quotas with a specific wait time.

The second category of essays includes discussions of adding visa categories to the current system. Many of the ideas in this category are based on older visa programs that have been discontinued, visa programs in other countries, logical extensions to the current U.S. system, or admissions policies in other public institutions, such as military academies.

Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development proposes a jointly regulated migration system with Mexico based on lessons learned from the past and best practices from other bilateral migration programs enacted around the world. Michelangelo Landgrave, a political science doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside, proposes a similar policy for Canada based on the principles of reciprocity in work authorization and limited access to welfare, of which, according to survey data, Americans and Canadians alike approve.

David Bier of the Cato Institute proposes state‐​based visas that would allow state governments to accept immigrants based on their diverse economic conditions. In a similar vein, coauthors Jack Graham and Rebekah Smith propose a system whereby local governments would work with private sponsors to bring immigrants into their communities. Both essays highlight the importance of engaging state governments to implement important reforms.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform offers a proposal inspired by the acceptance policies of U.S. military academies. It would allow each member of Congress to sponsor 100 immigrants for legal permanent residence— similar to how they nominate recruits for U.S. military academies.

The third category includes proposed changes that would transform how the current U.S. immigration system works.

George Mason University professor Justin Gest envisions a major overhaul of the selection process for immigrants. Under his system, the government would collect much better data on various immigrant outcomes and track immigrants over time to see how they integrate. It would then assign points for immigrants with certain characteristics that the data show correlate with immigrant success.

Steve Kuhn of IDEAL Immigration proposes selling visas to employers, provided they’ve made job offers to foreign workers and paid the workers premiums that match the cost. Nathan Smith’s proposal would increase the number of immigrants admitted but charge them an extra 20 percent tax on their incomes so long as they reside and work in the United States.

The fourth category and the last two fundamental policy reform ideas come from Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics at George Mason University. His reforms would increase immigration, cause more Americans to profit directly from the immigration system, and provide a way to select immigrants that are more beneficial to the United States.

Hanson’s first essay is similar to Gest’s proposal but relies on a more decentralized decisionmaking process to select immigrants using prediction markets. Under this proposal, the public would place cash bets in an open market on which immigrants would succeed based on objectively measurable criteria such as net‐​fiscal impact. The immigration system would then select those priced the highest. In his second essay, Hanson suggests letting U.S. citizens sell or lease their citizenship to noncitizens abroad in exchange for leaving the country. This would monetize the value of American citizenship and create an asset held by every American.

These proposed reforms are just a few of the new and interesting ideas out there. Hopefully, some will be incorporated into future bills; others could spark new and more creative ways of how to change immigration laws. We don’t endorse every essay in this paper, but the stagnant state of the current debate shows the need for bold new ideas and out‐​of‐​the‐​box thinking that will better prepare us for the next immigration reform debate.

Chapter 1: Automatic Adjustment of the H-1B Visas and Employment‐ Based Green Cards Caps

By Daniel Griswold

Congress should tie the growth of employment‐ based visas to growth in the most relevant sectors of the U.S. labor force to assure that the annual number of visas available more closely matches the demands of the U.S. economy over time. Two of the most important visas for foreign‐​born workers are the H-1B visa and the employment‐​based green card, both for more‐​skilled and more‐​educated foreign born workers. Yet the number of such visas available has not changed significantly in almost three decades despite transformational growth in the U.S. labor market.

Chapter 2: Reducing Long Wait Times for Family‐​Sponsored and Employment‐​Based Immigrants

By Stuart Anderson

Immigration opponents frequently argue that immigrants should “wait in line” and come to America the “right way.” Many Americans would say the “right way” means applying for permanent residence or a temporary visa through the legal immi­gration system. But several factors complicate foreign nationals using the legal immigration system. First, the categories to immigrate legally, or even to work for a time on a temporary visa, are limited. Second, and the focus of this analysis, the legal immigration categories that exist often force those who apply to wait many years to immigrate. The primary cause of these long waits is that the demand for visas far outstrips the supply, which the law constrains with specific numerical limits for each visa category.

Chapter 3: Shared Border, Shared Future: A U.S.-Mexican Bilateral Worker Agreement

By Michael Clemens

The U.S. government has mismanaged labor mobility and failed to cooperate meaningfully with migrant countries of origin for the past half‐​century. Foreign workers have come for fundamental jobs, which are those that are critical to the U.S. economy and that do not require formal higher education, such as personal care, construction, warehousing, and others. They have come almost exclusively via family‐​based green cards, “low‐​skill” temporary guest worker visas for seasonal jobs tied to a single employer, or through a vast black market in labor. Many of the ills associated with migration arise from this regulatory system, not from migration itself. The United States needs a bilateral system of labor mobility for fundamental jobs that should begin

Chapter 4: Constructing a U.S.- Canadian Bilateral Labor Agreement

By Michelangelo Landgrave

Under current law, citizens of the United States and Canada can visit each other’s countries for a short time without a visa. However, visitors face tight restrictions on residing or working in each country. The United States and Canada should create a bilateral labor agreement (BLA) that allows for the free movement, residency, and work rights for citizens in both countries. Drawing on lessons from Europe’s Schengen Agreement, this agreement should be based on three principles: work authorization, restricted welfare access, and reciprocity. Data from an original survey show that an overwhelming majority of American citizens, across both major political parties, would favor a BLA based on these principles.

Chapter 5: State‐​Sponsored Visas

By David J. Bier

The federal government has maintained a near monopoly on the criteria for the admission of foreigners to the United States since the late 19th century. This centralization makes little sense in such an economically diverse country. Every state and locality have specific social and economic circumstances that the current centralized immigration system ignores. This centralization has ultimately polarized and paralyzed the national immigration debate and directly led to a three decades‐ long delay of major reforms to a system that most agree desperately needs it. For this reason, Congress should allow state governments to sponsor migrants based on their own criteria under federal supervision.

Chapter 6: The Community Visa: A Local Solution to America’s Immigration Deadlock

By Jack Graham and Rebekah Smith

Immigration is one of the most significant drivers of prosperity, but its potential is suppressed by restrictionist politics, centralized bureaucracies, and out‐​of‐​date policies. Furthermore, its benefits are concentrated in a few regions. Communities with the greatest need for immigrants, especially in rural areas and the Rust Belt, are receiving few immigrants as the majority move to big coastal cities. Rural areas also tend to have the highest levels of anti‐​immigrant sentiment, in part because they do not benefit from migration the same way that people in big coastal cities do. The United States needs a new approach to help businesses of all sizes get the workers they need, to renew communities threatened by demographic decline, and to build local support for more liberalized immigration.

Chapter 7: Building a Congressional Constituency for Immigration through “Earmarks”

By Grover Norquist

For many years, U.S. presidents have had significant discretion to make immigration policy, liberalizing or restricting rules on entry and setting deportation priorities. Congress has enacted little legislation of its own because it lacks the overwhelming national consensus required to pass reforms on the issue. But giving individual members of Congress more authority to select immigrants for permanent residence could overcome this stalemate.

Chapter 8: Immigration Moneyball

By Justin Gest

President Trump wants to overhaul the U.S. immigration system so that it stops favoring visa applicants with U.S. family ties and instead gives priority to highly skilled applicants and those with job offers. His proposal is based on the assumption that immigrants’ educational credentials—what the administration calls “merit”—will lead to increased U.S. wages and immigrants who better integrate into U.S. culture.

Chapter 9: Immigration Designed to Enhance American Lives (IDEAL)

By Steve Kuhn

The immigration reform proposals most likely to succeed are those that create benefits for Americans and immigrants and that garner bipartisan support. The Immigration Designed to Enhance American Lives (IDEAL) proposal strikes a balance between competing interests by allowing more legal immigrants to work in the United States by paying the federal government for the opportunity. That revenue could then be used to reduce the tax burden or otherwise benefit native‐​born Americans. This essay and planks are based on the IDEAL Immigration Policy.

Chapter 10: Don’t Restrict Immigration, Tax It

By Nathan Smith

Many economists—including Nobel laureate Gary Becker—favor taxing immigration because charging a “price” can produce a more efficient result than restricting it with government‐​established caps or quotas. Good immigration policy ought to bring the greatest good to the greatest number, subject to the constraints of being compatible with human rights and incentives and of making many people better off without making others worse off. Consistent with those principles is a proposed policy called “Don’t Restrict Immigration, Tax It.”

Chapter 11: Choosing Immigrants through Prediction Markets

By Robin Hanson

On immigration, the big political camps are in a tug of war. One side favors more immigrants; the other side wants fewer immigrants. But when faced with such a struggle, policymakers who care more about influence than about feeling solidarity should consider tugging the rope sideways, where fewer might oppose their efforts. To tug the rope sideways on immigration, policymakers should take a policy position that is perpendicular to the axis of more versus fewer immigrants. One sideways‐​pull policy would be to reform immigration laws to use prediction markets to admit different immigrants, without increasing the total number.

Chapter 12: Transferable Citizenship

By Robin Hanson

Governments have long worked hard to create strong feelings of solidarity between citizens. National leaders often appeal to a common history of mutual aid, sacrifice, and even ethnic and cultural ties to garner support for government actions. All of this has helped create a relatively sacred and exclusive aura regarding citizenship that, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, is “the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle‐​field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land.” According to long‐​standing human norms, such associations are not to be created lightly and are debased when they are mixed with material motives such as money or other expressions of self‐​interest.

About the Authors
Alex Nowrasteh

Director of Immigration Studies, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Daniel Griswold
Former Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies
Michael Clemens
Michelangelo Landgrave
Jack Graham
Rebekah Smith
Grover Norquist
Justin Gest
Steve Kuhn
Nathan Smith
Robin Hanson

1 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Gross Domestic Product [GDP],” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed February 9, 2020, https://​fred​.stlou​is​fed​.org/​s​e​r​i​e​s/GDP.

2 Stuart Anderson, “The World Has Changed since 1990, U.S. Immigration Policy Has Not,” National Foundation for American Policy Policy Brief, September 2015.

3 Daniel Griswold and Jack Salmon, “Attracting Global Talent to Ensure America Is First in Innovation,” Mercatus Center at George Mason University Policy Brief, March 2019.

4 David Bier, “Immigration Wait Times from Quotas Have Doubled: Green Card Backlogs Are Long, Growing, and Inequitable,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 873, June 18, 2019.

5 Daniel Griswold, Reforming the US Immigration System to Promote Growth (Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, October 2017).

6 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers: Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2016–September 30, 2017 (Washington: Department of Homeland Security, April 9, 2018).

7 “Employment‐​Based Immigration,” Senate Republican Policy Committee, February 6, 2018, https://​www​.rpc​.sen​ate​.gov/​p​o​l​i​c​y​-​p​a​p​e​r​s​/​e​m​p​l​o​y​m​e​n​t​-​b​a​s​e​d​-​i​m​m​i​g​r​ation.

8 “Establishment Data: Table B‐​1a. Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls by Industry Sector and Selected Industry Detail, Seasonally Adjusted,” Employment and Earnings Table B‐​1a, Current Employment Statistics—CES (National), Bureau of Labor Statistics, last modified February 7, 2020. “Professional and technical services” is CES ID 60540000.

9 “Establishment Data: Table B‐​1a.” “Architectural and engineering services” is CES ID 60541300, and “Computer systems design and related services” is CES ID 60541500.

10 As an alternative to official employment data compiled by the government, the escalator could be indexed to more timely employment indicators generated in the private sector, such as the number of job vacancies “scraped” from relevant employment websites.

11 The proposed adjustment and escalator mechanism could also be applied to temporary work visas for lower‐​skilled workers, such as the H-2A and H-2B visa categories. But demand for those visas also reflects the decreasing supply of native‐​born workers who are available to fill those jobs and thus the demand is not as closely tied to the employment numbers in the relevant categories.

12 Jake Ulick, “Nasdaq Off 20% This Year: Another Day, Another Tech Sell‐​Off, This Time Amid Chip Stock Downgrades,” CNNMoney, October 10, 2000.

13 Neil G. Ruiz, “Key Facts about the U.S. H-1B Visa Program,” Fact Tank, Pew Research Center, April 27, 2017.

14 For an overview of commission proposals, see American Council on International Personnel, Examining Proposals to Create a New Commission on Employment‐​Based Immigration, June 2009.

15 Daniel Costa, Future Flows and Worker Rights in S. 744 (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, November 12, 2013).

16 For an overview of commission proposals, see American Council on International Personnel, Examining Proposals to Create a New Commission on Employment‐​Based Immigration.

17 8 U.S.C. § 1151(b)(2)(A)(i).

18 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a).

19 Business Roundtable, State of Immigration: How the United States Stacks Up in the Global Talent Competition (Washington: Business Roundtable, March 2015).

20 Reuniting Families Act, H.R. 4944, 115th Cong. (2018).

21 Stuart Anderson, “Bill Aims to End Decades‐​Long Waits for High‐​Skilled Immigrants,” Forbes, February 15, 2019; and David Bier, “150‐​Year Wait for Indian Immigrants with Advanced Degrees,” Cato at Liberty (blog), June 8, 2018.

22 Fairness for High‐​Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, H.R. 1044, 116th Cong. (2019).

23 David Bier, “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act: Wait Times and Green Card Grants,” Cato at Liberty (blog), September 30, 2019.

24 Department of State, National Visa Center, Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family‐​Sponsored and Employment‐​Based Preferences Registered at the National Visa Center as of November 1, 2019, 2019.

25 Charles Wheeler, “Backlogs in Family‐​Based Immigration: Shedding Light on the Numbers,” Catholic Legal Immigration Network, last updated March 1, 2019.

26 David Bier, “Immigration Wait Times from Quotas Have Doubled: Green Card Backlogs Are Long, Growing, and Inequitable,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 873, June 18, 2019.

27 Office of Immigration Statistics, 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (Washington: Department of Homeland Security, July 2019), 20–24.

28 Anderson, “Bill Aims to End Decades‐​Long Waits.”

29 Michael A. Clemens, Carlos Gutierrez, and Ernesto Zedillo, Shared Border, Shared Future: A Blueprint to Regulate US‐​Mexico Labor Mobility (Washington: Center for Global Development, 2016).

30 Giovanni Peri makes a version of this proposal. Giovanni Peri, “Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth,” Discussion Paper 2012-01, The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution, May 2012.

31 Giovanni Peri and Chad Sparber, “Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1, no. 3 (July 2009): 135–69; and Julie L. Hotchkiss, Myriam Quispe‐​Agnoli, and Fernando Rios‐​Avila, “The Wage Impact of Undocumented Workers: Evidence from Administrative Data,” Southern Economic Journal 81, no. 4 (April 2015): 874–906.

32 Giovanni Peri, “The Effect of Immigration on Productivity: Evidence from U.S. States,” Review of Economics and Statistics 94, no. 1 (February 2012): 348–58; and Ethan Lewis and Giovanni Peri, “Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions,” in Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 5 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015), pp. 625–85. This occurred both through encouraging capital formation and by raising total factor productivity—the collective productivity of all inputs to production, including both capital and labor, through changes in the technology and organization of production; Andri Chassamboulli and Giovanni Peri, “The Labor Market Effects of Reducing the Number of Illegal Immigrants,” Review of Economic Dynamics 18, no. 4 (October 2015): 792–821.

33 Michael A. Clemens and Kate Gough, “Can Regular Migration Channels Reduce Irregular Migration? Lessons for Europe from the United States,” Center for Global Development Brief, February 2018.

34 Ana Gonzalez‐​Barrera and Jens Manuel Krogstad, “What We Know about Illegal Immigration from Mexico,” FactTank, Pew Research Center, June 28, 2019.

35 Allison O’Connor, Jeanne Batalova, and Jessica Bolter, “Central American Immigrants in the United States,” Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute, August 15, 2019.

36 Jens Hainmueller and Daniel J. Hopkins, “Public Attitudes toward Immigration,” Annual Review of Political Science 17, no. 1 (May 2014): 226–27.

37 Jeff R. Clark et al., “Does Immigration Impact Institutions?,” Public Choice 163, no. 3 (June 2015): 321–35; and Benjamin Powell, Jeff R. Clark, and Alex Nowrasteh, “Does Mass Immigration Destroy Institutions? 1990s Israel as a Natural Experiment,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 141, (September 2017): 83–95.

38 Timothy B. Gravelle, “Partisanship, Border Proximity, and Canadian Attitudes toward North American Integration,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 26, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 453–74.

39 Other extant free movement agreements include the Nordic Pass Union and the British Isles’ Common Travel Area.

40 Alessandra Casella and Adam B. Cox, “A Property Rights Approach to Temporary Work Visas,” The Journal of Legal Studies 47, no. S1 (January 2018): S212–14.

41 B. Lindsay Lowell and Johanna Avato, “The Wages of Skilled Temporary Migrants: Effects of Visa Pathways and Job Portability,” International Migration 52, no. 3 (September 2013): 85–98.

42 Matthew Goodwin and Caitlin Milazzo, “Taking Back Control? Investigating the Role of Immigration in the 2016 Vote for Brexit,” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 19, no. 3 (2017): 450–64; Sofia Vasilopoulou, “UK Euroscepticism and the Brexit Referendum,” The Political Quarterly 87, no. 2 (April–June 2016): 219–27; and Italo Colantone and Piero Stanig, “Global Competition and Brexit,” American Political Science Review 112, no. 2 (May 2018): 201–18.

43 David M. Rankin, “Borderline Interest or Identity? American and Canadian Opinion on the North American Free Trade Agreement,” Comparative Politics 36, no. 3 (April 2004): 331–51.

44 Connor Huff and Dustin Tingley, “‘Who Are These People?’ Evaluating the Demographic Characteristics and Political Preferences of MTurk Survey Respondents,” Research & Politics 2, no. 3 (July 2015); Kevin J. Mullinix et al., “The Generalizability of Survey Experiments,” Journal of Experimental Political Science 2, no. 2 (Winter 2015): 109–38; Scott Clifford, Ryan M. Jewell, and Philip D. Waggoner, “Are Samples Drawn from Mechanical Turk Valid for Research on Political Ideology?,” Research & Politics 2, no. 4 (October 2015); and Antonio A. Arechar, Simon Gächter, and Lucas Molleman, “Conducting Interactive Experiments Online,” Experimental Economics 21, no. 1 (March 2018): 99–131.

45 This sample size is adequate for evaluating nationwide opinion, but caution should be used when interpreting regional variations.

46 Question wording: Would you support allowing Canadian citizens to [live, but not work / live and work] in the United States indefinitely? Canadians would [not have / have] access to American welfare programs. [-blank‐ / In exchange, American citizens would receive reciprocal treatment in Canada.] Answer wording: I would support this policy / I would not support this policy.

47 Two‐​tailed; p‐​value ≤ 0.05.

48 A TN visa classification also exists for Mexican citizens, but its requirements are significantly stricter.

49 “TN NAFTA Professionals,” Temporary Workers, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, last updated March 7, 2017, https://​www​.uscis​.gov/​w​o​r​k​i​n​g​-​u​n​i​t​e​d​-​s​t​a​t​e​s​/​t​e​m​p​o​r​a​r​y​-​w​o​r​k​e​r​s​/​t​n​-​n​a​f​t​a​-​p​r​o​f​e​s​s​i​onals.

50 This essay is largely based on David Bier, “State‐​Sponsored Visas: New Bill Lets States Invite Foreign Workers, Entrepreneurs, and Investors,” Cato Institute Immigration Research and Policy Brief no. 2, May 11, 2017.

51 Nonimmigrant Classes, 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(2) (2019).

52 Nonimmigrant Classes, 8 C.F.R. § 214 (2019).

53 David Bier, “Do Guest Workers Overstay? Not Often,” Niskanen Center, March 12, 2015.

54 Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Evaluation of the Provincial Nominee Program, September 2011.

55 “Facts & Figures 2015: Immigration Overview—Permanent Residents—Annual IRCC Updates,” Government of Canada, last modified May 3, 2017.

56 Brandon Fuller and Sean Rust, “State‐​Based Visas: A Federalist Approach to Reforming U.S. Immigration Policy,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 748, April 23, 2014; “Subclass 188: Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated March 5, 2020, https://​www​.bor​der​.gov​.au/​T​r​a​v​/​V​i​s​a​-​1​/188-; “Subclass 187: Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated March 5, 2020, https://​immi​.home​af​fairs​.gov​.au/​v​i​s​a​s​/​g​e​t​t​i​n​g​-​a​-​v​i​s​a​/​v​i​s​a​-​l​i​s​t​i​n​g​/​r​e​g​i​o​n​a​l​-​s​p​o​n​s​o​r​-​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​-​s​c​h​e​m​e-187; “Subclass 190: Skilled Nominated Visa,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated March 5, 2020, https://​immi​.home​af​fairs​.gov​.au/​v​i​s​a​s​/​g​e​t​t​i​n​g​-​a​-​v​i​s​a​/​v​i​s​a​-​l​i​s​t​i​n​g​/​s​k​i​l​l​e​d​-​n​o​m​i​n​a​t​e​d-190; “Subclass 489: Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated March 5, 2020, https://​immi​.home​af​fairs​.gov​.au/​v​i​s​a​s​/​g​e​t​t​i​n​g​-​a​-​v​i​s​a​/​v​i​s​a​-​l​i​s​t​i​n​g​/​s​k​i​l​l​e​d​-​r​e​g​i​o​n​a​l​-​p​r​o​v​i​s​i​o​n​a​l-489; and “Australian State Sponsored Visa: Skilled—Nominated (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489),” Australian Visa Bureau.

57 Department of Immigration and Border Protection, “2015–16 Migration Programme Report,” Australian Government, June 30, 2016, p. 11.

58 Roslyn Cameron, “Responding to Australia’s Regional Skill Shortages through Regional Skilled Migration,” Journal of Economic and Social Policy 14, no. 3 (2011): 4.

59 “Permanent Resident—Ad Hoc IRCC (Specialized Datasets),” Government of Canada, last modified March 3, 2018; and “Overseas Arrivals and Departures,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated February 26, 2020.

60 “Congress specifically preserved such authority for the States …,” Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 563 U.S. 582, 600–01 (2011).

61 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “EB-5 Adjudications Policy,” PM-602‑0083, May 30, 2013; “Conrad 30 Waiver Program,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Mark Spivey, “Report: Rural Health a Target for Harm by Trump Travel Ban,” RAC Monitor, February 8, 2017; and “About the SEVIS Help Hub,” Study in the States, Department of Homeland Security, last updated January 25, 2018.

62 Liz Robbins, “CUNY Schools to Lure Foreign Entrepreneurs with New Visa Program,” New York Times, February 17, 2016; “The Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) Program,” Innovation Institute, MassTech Collaborative, accessed March 10, 2020, https://​inno​va​tion​.masstech​.org/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​s​-​a​n​d​-​i​n​i​t​i​a​t​i​v​e​s​/​g​l​o​b​a​l​-​e​n​t​r​e​p​r​e​n​e​u​r​-​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​c​e​-​p​i​l​o​t​-​p​r​ogram; and Colorado Law, “The University of Colorado Global Entrepreneurs in Residence Pilot Program,” University of Colorado Boulder, https://siliconflatirons.org/documents/newsletters/EIR%20Flyer.pdf.

63 Dirk Hegen, State Laws Related to Immigrants and Immigration (Washington: National Conference of State Legislatures, July 24, 2008); and Kirk Siegler, “Three Years On, Utah’s Immigrant Guest Worker Law Still Stalled,” NPR, July 31, 2014.

64 S.J.R. 12, 2011 Gen. Sess. (Ut. 2011); H.B. 469, 2011 Gen. Sess. (Ut. 2011); H.B. 466, 2011 Gen. Sess. (Ut. 2011); and H.B. 116, 100 Gen. Sess. (Ut. 2011).

65 Dirk Hegen, 2007 Enacted State Legislation Related to Immigrants and Immigration (Washington: National Conference of State Legislatures, January 31, 2008); “Kansas Seeks Waiver for Undocumented Workers to Solve Farm Crisis,” Fox News, last updated December 23, 2016; S.R. 715, 151st Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Ga. 2012); and Monica Davey, “Immigrants Seen as Way to Refill Detroit Ranks,” New York Times, January 23, 2014.

66 Jon Johnson, “Konopnicki’s Guest Worker Bill Passes Committee,” Eastern Arizona Courier, February 20, 2008; and Alex Nowrasteh, “Immigration Reform: Let the States Lead the Way,” op‐​ed, Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2015.

67 New​sOn6​.com and Wire Reports, “Oklahoma State Senator Plans to Propose Guest Worker Program Bill,” News 9, December 14, 2012; H.B. 3735, 84th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Tx. 2015); and S.B. 14, 50th Leg., 2nd Sess. (Nm. 2012).

68 “Regional Data,” Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, accessed March 11, 2020, https://​www​.bea​.gov/​i​T​a​b​l​e​/​i​T​a​b​l​e​.​c​f​m​?​r​e​q​i​d​=​7​0​&​s​t​e​p​=​1​&​i​s​u​r​i​=​1​&​a​c​r​d​n​=​2​#​r​e​q​i​d​=​7​0​&​s​t​e​p​=​1​&​i​s​uri=1.

69 “Local Area Unemployment Statistics,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.

70 David Rogers, “Senate Passes $787 Billion Stimulus Bill,” Politico, updated February 16, 2009.

71 American Farm Bureau Federation, “Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Final H2A Rule,” ImmigratonWorks USA, February 12, 2010.

72 “Occupational Employment Statistics,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.

73 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, “Foreign‐​Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics—2015,” news release no. USDL-16–0989, May 19, 2016, https://​www​.bls​.gov/​n​e​w​s​.​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​s​/​f​o​r​b​r​n​_​0​5​1​9​2​0​1​6.pdf.

74 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Major Industries with Highest Employment, by State, 1990–2015,” TED: The Economics Daily, Department of Labor, August 5, 2016.

75 Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, “Size of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Workforce Stable after the Great Recession,” Pew Research Center, November 3, 2016; and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, “Labor Force Characteristics—2015.”

76 State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017, S. 1040, 115th Cong. (2017); and State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2019, H.R. 5174, 116th Cong. (2019).

77 Elizabeth Fussell, “Warmth of the Welcome: Attitudes toward Immigrants and Immigration Policy in the United States,” Annual Review of Sociology 40 (July 2014): 479–98; and Chris Lawton and Robert Ackrill, “Hard Evidence: How Areas with Low Immigration Voted Mainly for Brexit,” The Conversation, July 8, 2016.

78 Michael A. Clemens, “Global Skill Partnerships: A Proposal for Technical Training in a Mobile World,” IZA Journal of Labor Policy 4, no. 2 (January 2015).

79 Michael Clemens, Claudio Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett, “Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers,” Center for Global Development Working Paper no. 428, June 2016.

80 Ronald Brownstein, “Places with the Fewest Immigrants Push Back Hardest against Immigration,” CNN, August 22, 2017.

81 Jonathan Woetzel et al., People on the Move: Global Migration’s Impact and Opportunity (McKinsey Global Institute, December 2016); and Florence Jaumotte, Ksenia Koloskova, and Sweta Saxena, “Migrants Bring Economic Benefits for Advanced Economies,” IMFBlog, October 24, 2016.

82 Ricardo Gambetta and Zivile Gedrimaite, Municipal Innovations in Immigrant Integration: 20 Cities, 20 Good Practices, American Cities Series (Washington: National League of Cities, Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration, 2010).

83 Xi Huang and Cathy Yang Liu, “Welcoming Cities: Immigration Policy at the Local Government Level,” Urban Affairs Review 54, no. 1 (2018): 3–32.

84 Griff Witte, “Trump Gave States the Power to Ban Refugees. Conservative Utah Wants More of Them,” Washington Post, December 2, 2019.

85 “Who We Are,” About, Welcoming America, accessed February 17, 2020, https://​www​.wel​comingamer​i​ca​.org/​a​b​o​u​t​/​w​h​o​-​w​e-are.

86 Huang and Yang Liu, “Welcoming Cities.”

87 “Sponsor a Refugee,” Government of Canada, last modified December 3, 2019, https://​www​.cana​da​.ca/​e​n​/​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​-​r​e​f​u​g​e​e​s​-​c​i​t​i​z​e​n​s​h​i​p​/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​r​e​f​u​g​e​e​s​/​h​e​l​p​-​o​u​t​s​i​d​e​-​c​a​n​a​d​a​/​p​r​i​v​a​t​e​-​s​p​o​n​s​o​r​s​h​i​p​-​p​r​o​g​r​a​m​.html.

88 Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Rapid Impact Evaluation of the Syrian Refugee Initiative,” December 2016.

89 “Subclass 489: Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa,” Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government, last updated March 5, 2020, https://​immi​.home​af​fairs​.gov​.au/​v​i​s​a​s​/​g​e​t​t​i​n​g​-​a​-​v​i​s​a​/​v​i​s​a​-​l​i​s​t​i​n​g​/​s​k​i​l​l​e​d​-​r​e​g​i​o​n​a​l​-​p​r​o​v​i​s​i​o​n​a​l-489.

90 “Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: About the Pilot,” Government of Canada, last modified January 14, 2020, https://​www​.cana​da​.ca/​e​n​/​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​-​r​e​f​u​g​e​e​s​-​c​i​t​i​z​e​n​s​h​i​p​/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​e​-​c​a​n​a​d​a​/​r​u​r​a​l​-​n​o​r​t​h​e​r​n​-​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​-​p​i​l​o​t​.html.

91 Chae Chan Ping v. United States, 130 U.S. 581, 603 (1889).

92 R. Eric Petersen and Sarah J. Eckman, Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management (Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2017), pp. 1, 9, 18.

93 Trump v. Hawaii, 585 U.S. ___ (2018).

94 Dan Mangan, “Trump Calls for ‘Merit‐​Based’ Immigration System in Address to Congress,” CNBC Markets, February 27, 2017, https://​www​.cnbc​.com/​2​0​1​7​/​0​2​/​2​8​/​t​r​u​m​p​-​c​a​l​l​s​-​f​o​r​-​m​e​r​i​t​-​b​a​s​e​d​-​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​-​s​y​s​t​e​m​-​i​n​-​c​o​n​g​r​e​s​s​-​s​p​e​e​c​h​.html.

95 Harriet Duleep and Mark Regets, “Family‐​Friendly and Human‐​Capital‐​Based Immigration Policy,” IZA World of Labor 389 (October 2017).

96 Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2003).

97 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2017); and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Integration of Immigrants into American Society (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2015).

98 Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(B) (2012).

99 Michelangelo Landgrave and Alex Nowrasteh, “Criminal Immigrants in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin,” Cato Institute Immigration Research and Policy Brief no. 11, March 4, 2019.

100 This essay and planks are partly based on “The IDEAL Immigration Policy,” IDEAL Immigration, https://​www​.ide​al​im​mi​gra​tion​.us/​p​olicy.

101 Office of Immigration Statistics, 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (Washington: Department of Homeland Security, July 2019), 20–24, table 7, https://​www​.dhs​.gov/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​y​e​a​r​b​o​o​k​_​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​t​i​o​n​_​s​t​a​t​i​s​t​i​c​s​_​2​0​1​7​_​0.pdf.

102 Victoria A. Greenfield et al., Human Smuggling and Associated Revenues: What Do or Can We Know about Routes from Central America to the United States? (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2019), https://​www​.rand​.org/​p​u​b​s​/​r​e​s​e​a​r​c​h​_​r​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​R​R​2​8​5​2​.html.

103 Conservatively estimating a net flow of 1 million per year, there would be 10 million participants by year 10, paying $25 billion each year.

104 Neli Esipova, Anita Pugliese, and Julie Ray, “More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate If They Could,” Gallup, December 10, 2018.

105 Nathan Smith, “The Global Economic Impact of Open Borders,” April 3, 2015, https://​ssrn​.com/​a​b​s​t​r​a​c​t​=​2​5​89733.

106 “Federal Returns with EITC: 1999 to 2017,” Statistics, Tax Policy Center, October 7, 2019, https://​www​.tax​pol​i​cy​cen​ter​.org/​s​t​a​t​i​s​t​i​c​s​/​f​e​d​e​r​a​l​-​r​e​t​u​r​n​s​-eitc.

107 Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982).

108 Human Rights Watch, “Country Summary: Qatar,” January 2017, https://​www​.hrw​.org/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​q​a​t​a​r​_​1.pdf.

109 The author first made this suggestion in a blog post: Robin Hanson, “Speculator‐​Chosen Immigrants,” Overcoming Bias (blog), March 24, 2019, http://​www​.over​com​ing​bias​.com/​2​0​1​9​/​0​3​/​s​p​e​c​u​l​a​t​o​r​-​c​h​o​s​e​n​-​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​n​t​s​.html.

110 Robin Hanson, “Futarchy: Vote Values, but Bet Beliefs,” accessed February 13, 2020, http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/futarchy.html.

111 Robin Hanson, “Shall We Vote on Values, but Bet on Beliefs?,” Journal of Political Philosophy 21, no. 2 (2013): 151–78.

112 Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

113 The author first made this suggestion in a blog post: Robin Hanson, “Transferable Citizenship,” Overcoming Bias (blog), October 21, 2011, http://​www​.over​com​ing​bias​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​0​/​t​r​a​n​s​f​e​r​a​b​l​e​-​c​i​t​i​z​e​n​s​h​i​p​.html.

114 Michael Lokshin and Martin Ravallion, “The Missing Market for Work Permits,” World Bank Group Policy Research Working Paper no. 9005, September 2019, http://​doc​u​ments​.world​bank​.org/​c​u​r​a​t​e​d​/​e​n​/​3​8​2​3​0​1​5​6​8​3​0​2​0​5​3​3​7​7​/​p​d​f​/​T​h​e​-​M​i​s​s​i​n​g​-​M​a​r​k​e​t​-​f​o​r​-​W​o​r​k​-​P​e​r​m​i​t​s.pdf.