AILA Doc No. 07060562 | Dated June 1, 2007
The points-based "merit" system being considered in Congress is a radical departure from our existing immigration system. It would virtually eliminate the relationship-based format we now use (where employers and family members sponsor individuals to come here) and replace it with one based on points awarded for certain characteristics like age, education, and English proficiency. Earn enough points, and you can apply for a green card.
Simply put, this is not a solution to the problems plaguing our immigration system, nor does it comport with the values upon which our country was built. Such a system has some superficial appeal, but scratch the surface and it becomes clear that this revolutionary overhaul is an exercise in social experimentation on the grandest scale.
Many problems are inherent in a merit system:
In sum, instituting a merit system is a shortsighted "fix" with few long-term benefits and many deleterious consequences. Congress is proceeding down a dangerous path in trying to implement it without having researched how it might work and whether it would solve our immigration problems. A radical immigration overhaul, such as the merit system represents, deserves far more than the cursory review and blanket approval Congress appears to have given it thus far. We must first determine whether it is the fairest, most efficient and workable system for our country.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 07060562.