Quotas In Immigration Law

Today’s Wall Street Journal has their main front page article on how H-1B quotas have not been used up yet and argues that the market should dictate the numbers rather than Government quotas.

Arbitrary quotas have been ruled unconstitutional by all courts in every domestic affairs except for immigration law. You cannot have quotas for segregation or desegregation, for diversity in public education. You cannot have quotas at workplace. We read in Law School that quotas inherently violate due process. But I had to throw my constitution down my office window when I started practicing immigration law.

When the colonists came to America, there was no problem, no quotas. White Anglo Saxon Protestants could simply come and work. Then as more and more Italians and Chinese came in, restrictions began to be put in from 1875 onwards. Chinese were banned because they were “Coolie labor” for lewd and immoral purposes. After World War 1, the Congress restricted immigration to 2% of their nationality already settled in America. Since there were no non white people in the US at that time, most of Asia and Africa was shut out from the US. This was done to preserve the racial mix in the United States. Since then a lot of restrictive immigration Acts establishing arbitrary quotas were enacted and still valid today. The Permanent Residency Process has quotas in both Employment based and Family Immigration. So does the H-1B program for bringing in the brightest and the best.

These quotas have risen from anti Immigration and Xenophobic attitudes prevalent in America. As the Wall Street Journal points out, why should a very bright person from say India or China come to the US to be treated as a second class citizen, at the bottom of the social ladder? They would rather stay in their own country which are emerging economies. Yet, as the WSJ articles point out, 35% of Microsoft patents were developed by immigrants, and the person who developed Google News was an H-1B from India.

Those patents will just go to India, and someday the children or grandchildren of these anti immigration forces will seek immigration to India.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, Annie Banerjee, for more information.

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