Since millions of people on Earth want to move to America,
we can select new immigrants according to their skills and abilities.
New Americans should make the USA better than it was before.

    If we decide to keep immigration at one million new people per year,
and if it is true that one billion citizens of other countries
would like to emigrate to the USA,
then each year only one would-be immigrant can be accepted
out of each 1,000 who dream of coming to America.

    How should we select the best candidates?
Perhaps this process will be similar to a very desirable university
deciding which applicants to accept and which to reject.

    Prospective immigrants who must ultimately be rejected
can still have good lives without living in the USA.
For each ideal immigrant family selected to become new Americans,
hundreds of others who would like to live in America
will necessarily be left in their homelands.














Much immigration reform begins with minimum requirements
for admitting would-be immigrants to a new homeland.
Here we will focus on the maximum achievements
of the foreign-born who will become new Americans.
Perhaps this chapter could contribute to the discussion
of very best qualities we will appreciate
in the new people we accept into the American family.


by James Leonard Park

    After immigration reform has begun to take effect,
we can admit one million new immigrants each year into the USA.
We can continue to welcome one million new immigrants each year
We can invite this many new people into our family
when we prevent people from coming into the USA
(or overstaying their visas) without permission.

    Orderly and reasonable immigration laws and procedures
can replace the chaotic systems and patterns that now prevail.

    In other words, we can replace do-it-yourself immigration
with careful and principled systems for selecting new Americans.

    New immigrants into the United States
will be expected to contribute much to our society.
We are already a nation of immigrants.
And we have room for more creative, intelligent, & educated people.

    Immigration reform should include explicit traits
we are looking for in the people we invite to become Americans.


    Because the United States of America is an English-speaking country,
we naturally want new immigrants to be able to communicate in English.
They must be able to understand what they hear and read.
And they must be able to express themselves in English.

    Of course, if they were raised in families that speak other languages,
we will not reject them because of any such additional language abilities.
But no matter what other languages they might have in their heads,
they must be able to use the English language
in order to become meaningful parts of American society.

    Citizens of other countries who want to emigrate to the USA
can begin their study of English (if English is not their native language)
at any time in their educational process.


    No matter how many Americans are out of work,
there are always a few occupations that have unfilled openings.
Scientific skills are often in demand, for example.
Americans could certainly be trained for such jobs,
but sometimes there are just not enough Americans
who have undertaken the necessary education.

    Sometimes the needed expertise is so specialized
that only a few people in the world could fill a specific opening.
In such cases, the search could become world-wide.
And if someone living in another country is the best person for that job,
then this would be an excellent reason
for allowing that person to emigrate to the United States.

    Occasionally, there will be a specific job waiting for the new immigrant.
In those cases, the new employer will be identified in the visa application
of the person who is being hired for a specific job in the USA.
The employer might even officially sponsor the immigrant family.

    Instead of expecting the U.S. Congress
to make decisions about occupational openings,
some sort of commission should be established,
which would be able to make exceptions
to the current quotas at any time (within limits, of course)
in order to respond to new needs emerging in the USA.

    Citizens of other countries who have the needed skills and talents
who have already applied for emigration into the USA
can have their waiting periods shortened dramatically
whenever a new need is identified by the Immigration Commission.


    Some Americans who have contributed the most to our culture
have not filled existing occupational slots
but have created new ways of making a living.

    And Americans have no monopoly on business creativity.
Entrepreneurs who have proven themselves in other lands
might decide that they would like to live in the USA.
They might continue their successful businesses in their homelands.
But expanding into the United States
might be good both for the business and for America.

    Their applications to come into the United States
will mention all of their accomplishments in their homelands
and lay out their plans for creating new companies in the USA.
If they have money to invest in new businesses in America,
this is also relevant for accepting them.
If they have their own capital, they will not have to borrow money
in order to establish their enterprises in America.


    Creativity is a human capacity that emerges in only a few individuals.
And there is no geographical limitation on where creativity might appear.
Individuals who have already shown creative talents in their homelands
can certainly mention such talents in their applications to emigrate.

    The American officials who are responsible for selecting immigrants
from the millions of applicants who would like to live in America
might develop some special committees in specific areas of creativity
who will evaluate the claims of creativity in prospective immigrants.
Sometimes these evaluators will mistakenly reject applicants
who subsequently prove their creative abilities in their homelands.
And after such creativity has become more obvious,
these creative individuals can be considered for immigration once again.

    On the other hand, some expectations of creativity will prove mistaken.
Some citizens of other countries who were admitted to America
because they were expected to make meaningful creative contributions
might prove disappointing.
The same happens in every American family:
Children expected to become geniuses prove to be no better than average.
Children of immigrants might be no more creative than most Americans.
Nevertheless, looking for creative contributions
will always be relevant in selecting new Americans.

To explore the meaning of creativity, read
Creativity: Making Something Genuinely New.


    Educational achievement is easier to measure than creative potential.
The applications of prospective immigrants will show
how many years of formal education they have undertaken.
Any degrees and academic awards will also be relevant.

    New immigration laws in the United States might never specify
a minimum level of education required.
But when immigration officers must choose between two applicants,
the one with more education will have an advantage.

    Education will never be wasted.
Not all educated people in the world will come to live in the USA.
Even if they do not fulfill their dream of living in the United States,
their education will be valuable in helping them
to make better lives for themselves in their homelands.
And their homelands will be enriched by more educated citizens.

    The United States of American will not automatically admit
every applicant who has a PhD or equivalent.

    Each homeland and the whole world is enriched
when people improve their thinking capacities
and apply their minds to solving problems.

    Occasionally foreign nationals will train themselves
for specific kinds of occupations in the USA.
For example, they might become engineers for industries
that only exist in the advanced countries of the Earth.
They will offer their services to all prospective employers.
And if no nation wants them,
they might try to start that industry at home.

    U.S. immigration policy should be careful
not to create a 'brain drain' on other countries.
Many of the best students from other lands get educated in the USA.
In some cases, they apply to become U.S. citizens.
But we could help foreign students to return to their homelands
and to use what they have learned to make better societies at home.


    Those applicants who already have family members living in the USA
will be more likely to adjust to their new homeland
than immigrants who have no such support-systems.
Sometimes churches or other groups of people
decide they will take special responsibilities for new immigrant families.
When any such systems of support are ready to aid the new immigrants,
then these applicants have an additional factor in their favor.
All such support-systems should be mentioned in the visa application.

    Prospective immigrants who know exactly where they will live in the USA
and what specific persons will help them to adjust
will be better candidates for immigration
than prospective immigrants without identified support-systems.


    Of course, any minor children of the principal applicant for immigration
will also be mentioned in the application.
And, normally, all children would automatically be included in the visa. 
Children are not expected to prove that they would be ideal immigrants
because children do not have the attainments expected of their parents.

    However, new laws of immigration must limit family connections
that permit other family members to move to the USA.
For example, siblings and parents might not be included.
They, of course, could apply for permission to enter the USA
just as any citizen of another country might apply.
And they should mention any relatives already living in America.
But having family in the USA should not grant automatic admission.


    When applying for admission to the United States of America,
applicants will specify how they plan to support themselves
with any relevant evidence that they have such capacities.
Background checks will be made in their countries of origin
to see if they have ever been convicted of any crime.

    Some convictions can be explained away as political persecution.
But ordinary crimes will be considered very serious
by the officials reviewing the application.
The new laws governing immigration into the USA
will try to specify what level of criminal history
would be enough to exclude an applicant.
But there will always be room for interpretation and explanation.

    When choosing one applicant out of a thousand,
criminal behavior in the homeland will be a significant factor.

    And, of course, some applicants for admission into the USA
will be members of criminal gangs.
They will do their best to disguise and hide such connections.
But if they plan to continue their criminal activities in the USA,
they should not be granted visas to enter the United States.
And if they are mistakenly admitted,
and later prove to be engaged in criminal behavior,
they should be deported.
Foreign nationals who commit criminal acts in America
should either be put into U.S. prisons
or turned over for imprisonment in their homelands.

    Criminal checks might have this side-effect in other countries:
People who hope eventually to emigrate to the USA
will be careful to avoid criminal behavior in their homelands
because crime would ruin their chances of being admitted to America.


    Because there will be one thousand other applicants
waiting beside any specific person
who requests permission to be admitted to the United States,
each applicant's best interest will be served
by including all facts that might tend to show that this immigrant
will make meaningful contributions to enriching the culture of America.
Applicants should not only prove that they can avoid criminal behavior,
but they should give some evidence of positive contributions.

    Necessarily, some good applicants will be turned down,
as happens every year for admissions to desirable colleges.
Some of these rejected students would have done well.
But selection was necessary because there were limited openings.

    Prospective students not selected can be considered again
if they make remarkable progress in the other colleges.
Every admissions procedure is imperfect.
Some students prove not to be suited to a particular environment.
Maybe they were not committed enough to the academic life.
Perhaps that particular college was too difficult for them.
So they drop out, thereby permitting transfer students to be admitted.

    Immigration to the United States of America
includes a similar process of selection.
Five years of living in the USA is required for citizenship.
And if their behavior proves that they should not become citizens,
they will be returned to their countries of citizenship in an orderly way.

    And the departure of people not granted citizenship
opens up more space in the USA for other applicants.
Unlike applying for college, a particular age is not expected.
Immigrants can be admitted to the USA at any age.
Any applicant has a life-time to prove himself or herself.

    As when applying for college or graduate school,
each applicant to be admitted to the United States of America
should mention all relevant facts about himself or herself
that would improve his or her chances of being accepted.
And the officials in charge of admission might have to dig
to discover any negative factors that would put this applicant
behind others who are better qualified.

    A careful selection process can ensure that the very best candidates
are admitted to the United States as temporary residents,
then permanent residents, and perhaps finally to become U.S. citizens.
Admission is more than meeting minimum requirements.
The successful applicants will show how they are better
than all the other applicants who must be left in their home countries.

    Will geniuses rise to the top of the pool of foreign nationals
waiting for their opportunities to emigrate to the USA?


    A basic alternative to the above careful selection process
is to continue the lottery-systems that allow random foreigners
to be given the right to come to the USA to live permanently.
Under the Green Card Lottery,
citizens of countries not already well included in the U.S. population
are given the opportunity to enter a lottery to be selected at random
for the right to emigrate to the USA.
Only a few restrictions apply to this lottery,
which is officially called the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery.
Under this provision of U.S. law, 50,000 Green Cards are issued each year.

    This lottery could be expanded if we decide it is a good program.
Currently one million immigrants come into the USA each year.
At present, the Green Card Lottery admits only 5% of all immigrants.


    Every country on the surface of the planet Earth
has a right to control immigration from other locations on this planet. 
If we in the USA have created the best culture on Earth,
then, naturally many other people would like to live here.
We will probably allow about one million new people
to emigrate to the United States each year.
Immigration reform will allow us to select the best people on Earth
to become residents and later citizens of the United States of America.

These thoughts about standards for new immigrants
has become Chapter 8 of Orderly Immigration: Creating a New America:
"Ideal Immigrants: Criteria for Selecting New Americans".

Would you consider joining a world-wide Facebook Seminar
discussing this forward-looking book?
See the complete description of this seminar:

The discussion of all of the issues surrounding immigration reform
takes place in a Facebook Group called:
"U.S. Immigration & Asylum Reform: Reasonable Middle Pathways":


    James Park is himself an immigrant to the United States.
He was eight years old when his whole family was admitted to the USA.
So there was no way to know ahead of time what he might contribute.
But each member of his family has proven to be good for America.
Much more about James Park will be found on his website,
James Leonard Park
Free Library.

    This electronic library contains other essays about immigration reform:

I am an Immigrant

Orderly Immigration into the United States

Immigration Problems and Solutions:
Keeping the Debate Constructive

Earning American Citizenship:
Be Above Average

25 Million Foreign Nationals in the USA:
How Many Will Stay?

Children of Foreign Nationals:
New Pathways to Citizenship

Born in the USA:
The Easy Way to Become a U.S. Citizen

Comprehensive Repatriation of Citizens of other Countries and their Families

National Identity File:
Directory USA

Created December 18, 2010;
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1-15-2011; 5-11-2011; 6-15-2011;
3-14-2012; 6-21-2012; 11-17-2012;
3-14-2013; 7-10-2013; 8-11-2013; 8-22-2013; 8-26-2013;
1-21-2014; 4-4-2014; 10-15-2015; 4-13-2016; 9-22-2016;
1-21-2017; 10-7-2017; 3-20-2019; 11-18-2020;

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James Leonard Park—Free Library