Thinking about Immigration/Emigration

It annoys us that the politicians have made such a hash out of this topic. About three years ago when the SB 1070 was being debated, I sat down with one of my Solutions Forum clients, who at the time was running the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of commerce as to what our SF stance should be on the issue. He, as a second generation Hispanic, actually agreed that the border should be closed and monitoring checkpoints set up to find out who wanted to enter and why. He was ok with charging them $100 or so to enter the country.

However, with Obama espousing the Dream Act, it occurred to us that there are several other points that should be considered by business owners in thinking about immigration and/or emigration.

1. We agree with the central premise of Obama’s ploy, which is that Hispanic children who arrived in this country when their parents did, shouldn’t be penalized by denying them a green card. We as a country certainly need their talents. However, if their parents are still illegal, we think that needs to be stated, they need to get in the immigration line as part of the deal  (and fined, say, $1,000). I’m sure a good immigration lawyer, would be happy to take the case, and not for much money.

2. However, in this Dream Act controversy, there’s a question of equity, because there are millions waiting to get into the country legally, so why should we prefer one race to another? We are a meritocracy society, by and large. Let’s stay with that philosophy as businesspeople. Forget the INS quotas, if in reality they even still exist.

3. We know a fine gentleman named Jan Thurgood who runs a Phoenix company called  Corporate Employee Services, who seems to be able to work magic with visas and work permits for nearly anyone. No, he’s not free, but he’s certainly reasonable.   He has agents in most major emigration ports, and can help with entry visas. Quotas don’t seem to matter.

4, We as businesspeople want talent, and we shouldn’t care its age, sex, racial origin or anything else. Let’s make sure that we don’t promote based on seniority, which is really corruptive.

5. Let’s also not forget that if we want to sell our business, there’s the foreign market. If foreigners wish to buy at least 51% of a US business, they can be granted an E-1 visa. As far as we know, there’s no minimum investment, but one of our mentors, Julie Fletcher, has all the details.

So, in the political silly season, let’s try and remember on immigration and emigration to do the right thing. Which means nothing will be done until January 2013 or later.

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