The United States’s immigration system is messed up. It is estimated that it would take 195 years for someone from India to get an employment-related Green Card if they applied today. Meanwhile, more than half of all unicorns had at least one founder who is an immigrant to the United States. Our current system is leaving money on the table by restricting immigration across all income levels. Immigrants work in important industries in areas that are experiencing labor shortages due to urbanization and aging.
As immigrants come to the United States, they don’t just work jobs that people in the United States could work but also create them. Yes, I am talking about tech unicorns but also much more mundane small businesses. Where a community of people from a place settle they open restaurants, grocery stores, hair salons, clothing shops, etc. that would not otherwise exist. This creates more jobs and grows the tax base.
My personal opinion is that the US should adopt a much more lax immigration policy. If someone has not committed a major crime, was not deported recently, is not a member of a criminal organization, and does not have an illness of public health concern, they should be let into the country provided they don’t access the social safety net without first paying taxes for several years. This is close to the policy that the United States had with Europe in the late-1800s.
My preferred policy is pretty close to open borders; however, I no longer think that it is worthwhile to use the term. As Jeremiah Johnson started to argue in Liberal Currents, the phase “Open Borders” does more harm than help to the cause. It is a boogie man of both the left and the right and is probably one of the few things that make people across the political spectrum rage. The only people who “Open Borders” makes happy are a small number of libertarians that do not have much sway in our current political climate. The better thing to do is to argue for something trite, such as “a fairer immigration system,” and then once in power do open borders (preferably in a way that gets people green cards or citizenship quickly so they can’t be deported when the inevitable backlash starts). Nativism lasts for a season, but new Americans last forever and grow our country.
Until something like this is politically possible, I support any and all ways to improve our immigration system. On this front, Joe Biden has been a complete disappointment. Biden has restarted the remain in Mexico policy and sent Kamala Haris to Guatemala to discourage immigration to the US. The pro-immigration center-left has some reckoning to do with our support of Biden. Right now, I feel like Bernie, with an administration of young socialists who are immigration curious, might be better on immigration at this point than the current administration.
Yesterday, I got a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTechVaccine as a booster to the dose of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine that I got in April. I am feeling some very soreness, but nothing major. When I got my dose of Janssen, the side effects did not start until the next day, so I thought I would get hit today, but so far only minor soreness.
I got a booster because of recent research that shows that the Janssen vaccine wanes in efficacy when you define the adverse outcome to be prevented as a COVID Infection. Other studies have shown that there may be some upside to mixing and matching a dose or two of Pfizer or Moderna for maximum effectiveness. With an ongoing spike in infections here in Denmark, the risk of long-COVID, a variety of variants popping up, and the potential for visitors over Christmas, I thought that boosting my immunity was the correct thing to do.
If you have not got your booster or your first COVID vaccine, I urge you to do it as a way of protecting yourself. The paper I linked above shows that the Jansen vaccine is 90% effective at preventing hospitalization even after 6+ months after vaccination.
16 of 100 maps are up on Wikipedia. Here are some of the maps since my last update