Day 907 and Unaccountable Bureaucrats

We’ve reached a point in America where the consular visa services (for tourism, business & academic visits) as well as the wider immigration services (for people intending to work here, become permanent residents or citizens) have made finding a clear legal path for any type of visa non-viable. The Cato Institute describes it as nearly impossible.

I haven’t been able to get so much as a tourist visa granted in 2 years despite guarantees that I’d be financially and legally liable for the actions of my people. Even when we agree on bringing people in via our refuge system has become an opaque unaccountable path.

Just today the Wall Street Journal reported that we are headed multiple crisis points in health care because there is no way to get into the country legally for nurses. We want nurses.

Our systems feels petty and vindictive to anyone that encounters it including American citizens like me. We treat people who aspire to American life’s like shit. And it appears as if the only paths that work are a system of bribes, fixers, scams, and favors as our immigration systems are opaque and deliberately obscured.

An unaccountable bureaucracy is breeding a system in which only the criminals are rewarded because the only way in is to go around the system.

We have two immigration systems that operate under the same “legal regime” but have totally different administrative regimes and authorities which further confuses the issue.

I can’t believe that I’m the one saying this loudly but a good start to a policy position is simple clear rules based immigration and visa policies that operate with consistently reviewed inputs and yield consistent outputs so both American businesses and its workforce is capable of planning for growth instead.

The doctrine of consular nonreviewability needs to be replaced with a standard of reviews that is clear, legible, and subject to open review so visa applicants and their stakeholders (families, employers, & lawyers) can understand and take action on consistently enforced norms.

Clear judicial review is the basis of any free market economy. This doctrine leaves our economy & families at the mercy of an unquestionable black box capable of life altering irreparable decisions which no one is obligated to explain or even disclose. And it’s not the fault of the consular officers. We are putting folks with little training into situations with unimaginable power (while being tied to confusing criteria which only leads them to cover their ass and reject more people. We can’t have a system of immigration where an unaccountable low level bureaucrat is able to reject an application based on vibes with no recourse.

– A visa for entrepreneurs. Currently we have imperfect workarounds that encourage people to go elsewhere (as it’s now clear the costs are enormous & the timeframes extend into multiple decades) meaning if you want to start a business, even one with funding, there is no clear reviewable path to getting the entrepreneur legal status to run the company in America.

The idea that our economy can’t handle more immigrants. tourists, business or academic travelers from non ESTA countries is simply not based in any reality. We have record low employment and shortages in crucial industries like healthcare which is fueling inflation.

Canada and Australia are letting in 2.5-3x the number of immigrants per capita per year as America. We could easily be smarter and more generous about how we recruit talent instead of encouraging a black market of border crossings for the desperate and ruined.

And we should absolutely be allowing in more visitors for the benefit of our tourism industry as well as our educational and business institutions.

I’ve had people denied entry for family reunions and conference keynotes. Startups now hosts all hands company meet ups in Mexico as they cannot guarantee that their employees can safely get in and out of America. That neither political party wants to address this in a meaningful way is appalling. We are pissing away our lead for partisanship and we can do better.

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