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Facebook and Immigration Reform

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has been in front of the immigration debate recently. “The future of our economy is a knowledge economy. And that means that getting the most talented people into this country is the most important thing that we can do to make sure the companies of tomorrow are founded here,” Zuckerberg said. This is a fundamental aspect of our legal immigration system; allowing the best and the brightest to contribute their talents here in the US. Graylaw provides the legal basis by which foreign nationals legally immigrate to the US. Generally, we obtain O-1 visas for extraordinary ability individuals and H-1B and TN visas for professionals in tech and other professional industries.

With respect to our economy, the EB-5 category allows foreign nationals to contribute capital to spur employment growth here in the US. During these hard economic times, why is there so much push back by USCIS in this employment based category? Zuckerberg should perhaps start this dialogue as well. Foreign capital can be a great and unique source of funds for tech start ups! It will also create jobs for US workers as this category requires the creation of 10 jobs for every $500,000.00 invested by the foreigner in order for them to obtain permanent resident status in the US.

With regard to illegal immigration, I believe it is a manageable problem. Zuckerberg stated in a recent tweet, “There are a lot of misconceptions about that…a lot of them came here because they just want to work. They want to help out their families and they want to contribute”. Simply put, our immigration system is based on the premise that foreigners can come if they are not taking jobs which displace the US work force. Unskilled jobs by definition do not take away American jobs. These are jobs that, without the undocumented workforce, would go unfilled. To fix the problem, Congress should create a temporary visa category for unskilled workers so that they have a way to come legally. Call it the Z visa as most other letters are already taken. This is how one solves the illegal immigration problem!