I think most points systems get "merit" very wrong and equate it to things that often signal a lack of merit.
Like they give points for master's without considering which school and wind up rewarding people who go to dodgy online schools to tick that box. When I'm reviewing resumes I consider such schools a NEGATIVE and discard the resume.
But there has to be a good way so let's brainstorm what real merit would look like.
I'll go first with she tenets:
1. Reputation matters a lot and any feature of a merit system should include a reputational element. Moreover reputation is best measured by surveys of industry professionals, not things like counting citations.
2. This applies to schools and also employers and also to individuals
3. Salary is a good measure but it has caveats and needs to be relative to job category and age as well as the reputation of the employer.
4. It's better to have done randomness the to have a complete stack rank, to reduce the incentive to game every last point. Being 2 point higher should give you a better chance, not shut out the lower point person
So with that here is a suggestion:
A. Instead of points you earn ballots in a lottery. Everyone gets 1 ballot for applying assuming they meets basic qualification. If in the lottery any one of your ballots is selected then you are accepted.
B. You get 1 extra ballot for every degree level you complete regardless of the reputation of your school so long as it's accredited
C. You get 1 extra ballot if it's a US school
D. You get 3 extra ballots for every degree completed at a school that is recognized as being to 25% world wide.
^ So up to 5 ballots per degree
E. You get 1 ballot for every 5 years experience you have in your field up to a maximum of 3 ballots.
F. You get 1 extra ballot for every 5 years US experience you have
G. You get 3 extra ballots for every high reputation employer you worked for, where you worked at least 2 years (top by reputation among industry pros)
H. You get 1 extra ballot for every 100k salary at your most recent employer, up to 3 ballots
I. You get 1 extra ballot pet 100k if that salary is US, up to 3
J. You get 3 extra ballots if that salary is in the top 25% of you labor category BY AGE, up to 9 ballots
K. You get 1 ballot for every letter of recommendation from an industry professional in your field, up to 3. Meaning a professor or manager in your industry
L. You get 1 extra ballot if that person is a US based professional
M. You get 3 extra ballots if that person is an employee of one of the previously identified to 25% schools or employers by reputation
N. Age discrimination: You lose 5 ballots for every 10 years of age over 20, is at 30, 40, 50, and 60.
O. Family discrimination: You get 1 extra ballot for every member of your immediate family who is under 30
P. US person discrimination: You get 1 extra ballots for each immediate family member who is a US citizen and 3 more if they are under 30.
I think most points systems get "merit" very wrong and equate it to things that often signal a lack of merit.
- How does one determine the top 25% schools in the world? What criteria do we use? What does it even mean to be a “top” school? (For me and most Americans, IITs are not top schools)
What does a “high reputation” employer mean? Companies that pay top salaries? Or are we talking about ethics?
How do we verify letter of recommendations? What does “industry professional” mean?
Why get an extra ballot for each family member under 30? That has nothing to do with merit and unnecessarily incentivize larger families with younger children. As an American, I don’t want large families of some foreign culture suddenly take over my town.
- Exactly. Anything subjective is the opposite of being fair and merit-based.
And OP never answered my other questions. Like the one about giving preference to immigrants who have more family members under the age of 30. I don’t even understand how that is fair and merit-based.
- I did explain it:
"The extra ballots for young family members represents the greater contribution to the US economy when children are included. These are people who will contribute to the US tax system for decades. Because they are young they will Americanize quickly. Plus they will not draw on social services since they are the family of a financially successful immigrant."
- That’s not fair or merit-based. America doesn’t need more children.
How can you guarantee every child of an immigrant will “contribute to the US tax system for decades”? How can you claim that “they will not draw on social services since they are the family of a financially successful immigrant”?
Having more children can be more of a burden. If we start letting in every Indian with kids into the U.S., then there will be a population explosion. That can impact current infrastructure and more importantly, strain the current American culture. What do you think will happen if suddenly Bangladeshi immigrants move into India en masse?
Maybe in India, larger families are celebrated. But not in America.
- @Desi techie
You can’t control your neighbor but you can control the fence between you and your neighbor.
American culture is probably less defined than, say, Indian culture. That’s because American culture is much younger and borrows heavily from other European cultures (and in some parts of America, Mexican culture).
But I think you are already familiar with some aspects of American culture. Let me ask you this: How would most white Americans react if there was suddenly a larger population of darker-skinned, high-earning immigrants moving into the country?
- American culture has nothing to do with race or religion, but it still exists and it's very evident to me when I meet someone who grew up here and "click" with a certain outlook and set of shared values, regardless of what religion or skin color.
There's a huge cultural gap between Indians and Chinese who were born and raised in America versus their parents who immigrated. The American born Indians or Chinese have more in common with each other and with me than they do with Indians or Chinese from the old country, or than I do with people who grew up in my ancestors country.
That gap between you and your American born kids is American culture.
- You mention “fair” in the title yet you have discriminatory criteria like age in your post.
- Well, we are talking about immigration changes that impact not just immigrants but MY country’s future as well. Don’t you agree such large-scale changes deserve to be put under a microscope? If this were your country, wouldn’t you want to be very careful with immigration proposals and ensure it is fair to both immigrants AND the current citizens at the same time preserving your country’s culture and values?
You already know what changes I suggested. I’ve already made enough points trying to show everyone your proposals are NOT fair and NOT merit-based.
One suggestion: try to look at your proposals again but from the perpective and mindset of an American lawmaker. Hopefully that will help show you how ridiculous most of your proposals are.
- What I was hinting at is pretty simple: the bulk of your proposals is unworkable because they either require much more resources to implement or goes against what it means to be fair and merit-based from the American perspective.
The current H-1 visa cap of 7% per country is more fair because it doesn’t give any special treatment to anyone, regardless of their age or background or country of origin.
For the truly exceptional immigrants, we already have the EB-1 visa. And even then, that is already abused by Indian consulting companies. So what I further propose is to remove the most abusable category, which is EB1-3 “Multinational Executive / Manager”. That way, we free up American resources to eliminate other visa abuses (H-1B, bogus student visas, etc).
In the short term, this will further negatively impact certain countries that already have a long queue. But in the long term, we will have a more robust system where American jobs are well-protected and at the same time continue to keep America open to the truly exceptional individuals via EB-1.
- There is no 7% cap on h1b which is why currently 70% of them go to India even though India is only 17% of the world population.
Under my proposal I would expect the percentage of Indians to fall. We would still get the top engineers who come to work at Google, Facebook, Uber, Apple, Amazon, etc, but it will seriously limit the number of applications the body shops could get through which is actually the majority of Indian applications.
The result would be a short queue for the top talent from India and actually more spots for people in other fields like nurses and medical technologists, finance people, other engineering disciplines, etc.
You keep saying that the things I suggest take more resources but that's just wrong. No more than it takes today.
Most of those things are one time effort, like compile a list of top schools. Only needs to be done once as then it's ten seconds to see if a school is on the list for each application. That's massively scalable.
The whole system is fee based anyway so USCIS could just charge a background check fee and hire any number of private background checking agencies, such as most employers already use, to audit references, work, and educational history. The applicants pay the fees so that's no extra cost to tax payers and it's something private employers do for every job application already.
I get there's debate about the value of including kids, I think it's clear that the US needs more immigrants and that's an ideal way to get more. The only case where immigrants are a negative to the country is when they end up on welfare. That's highly unlikely to happen in this case.
In all other cases every gainfully employed immigrant is actually a net gain for the economy.
But sure, debate those specific line items. You can adjust the points for them or remove them and if you think the overall scheme is right then debating points for specific things like that is really just fine tuning.
- Sorry, I meant country cap on permanent residency cards.
Checking each criteria and making sure there is no fraud takes a lot of resources. With your proposals, it’s going to be the same amount of effort and rigor as what we have for EB-1 but in a larger scale. That requires additional money from American taxpayers. Would Americans be happy with paying more money for immigration candidates that will potentially take their jobs? You can’t just say use private background checks because that can quickly harbor fraudulent applications. USCIS needs to have oversight on the entire application lifecycle.
You are underestimating the effort required to check for educational requirements and making sure the list is up-to-date. It is not a one-time effort. Even the college rankings such as the US News & World report regularly update their lists. Some schools gain rank while others lose rank every year.
Also, there is not just one list. School rankings can vary per industry and even per discipline. For example, Harvard is regarded as one of the best universities in the world but isn’t even a top 15 program for CS. In contrast, UIUC is considered one of the top CS programs (much better than Harvard) in the world yet it is only ranked 46 in the U.S.
Now you have dozens of lists that change rankings every year. Who maintains that list? How do we ensure it is always objective? Like a lot of systems and processes, more moving parts mean more point-of-failures. All of those moving parts require regular maintenance and that means even more money/resources.
Also, how would you reconcile ranking inconsistencies? What if one expert says one thing but other experts disagree. What if the experts agree on one thing but the general public says otherwise? How about trade schools like University of Phoenix that most people normally think is crap yet companies like Google and Facebook hire from? (We have a lot of data center folks from those trade schools)
You are not seeing all the complications that will happen.
“I think it's clear that the US needs more immigrants and that's an ideal way to get more.”
Where did you get the idea that the U.S. needs more immigrant children? Can you provide some data to back that up? That sounds really ridiculous. If anything, the U.S. needs to continue controlling the immigration numbers. We don’t want a sudden population boom because that can strain food, water, and energy resources. Keep in mind that most of the U.S. is undeveloped land and a lot of states like California don’t naturally have enough water reserves (California gets most water from neighboring states).
I disagree that we are just fine-tuning your proposals. I still stand by my previous assessment that your proposal’s framework itself is brittle and does not have much facts to support it.
- It's not more work than to check current applications for fraud. Candidates already submitted their school and employment history. Now we are just seeing if it's on a list. How is that harder?
You still have to go validate that they have that degree and experience. Looking up being on a list to see if it's a top institution adds no extra effort.
And it requires ZERO money from taxpayers. USCIS is not funded by taxes, it's completely funded by the fees charged to applicants.
As for your comments on population:
This is a proposal to get better immigrants. No matter what quota you set you want the best. If you double or if your cut the number we take we want the best of those who apply.
That said you are wrong about the population boom. Provided the people coming work and pay taxes actually do want a boom to offset the aging population.
- Why can’t you see that all your proposals will lead to more work? Do you think that immigration agents can magically verify all the extra information that you are proposing instantly? Fact-checking every application, every recommendation letter, employment history, education, counting ballots, etc to the level you propose WILL require more work and resources. The current system will need to be overhauled because when there is more information to be processed, there will be more verification that everything is still valid and legitimate.
When there is more data to check, the larger “attack surface” that bad actors can use. There is no way around that. So we actually need to be MORE careful. The old system will be obsolete. Even if the all funding is from immigration fees, you still need to overhaul the system. That can take awhile and need careful planning.
Please read my points again on the school ranking process. I feel that you are glossing over many of those details and not addressing them at all. I believe I’ve made myself clear that it is not simply checking one list.
Why am I wrong on the population boom? Are you disagreeing that having more people somehow won’t need more food, water, housing, energy, etc?
To be honest, I feel that we are going around in circles here. And that’s mostly because you keep coming back to your old arguments and never seem to completely address mine. You haven’t even answered most of my questions, like:
“Where did you get the idea that the U.S. needs more immigrant children? Can you provide some data to back that up?”
“Now you have dozens of lists that change rankings every year. Who maintains that list? How do we ensure it is always objective?”
“Also, how would you reconcile ranking inconsistencies? What if one expert says one thing but other experts disagree. What if the experts agree on one thing but the general public says otherwise? How about trade schools like University of Phoenix that most people normally think is crap yet companies like Google and Facebook hire from?”
If you can’t give me straight answers to the above, then I’ll simply disengage myself from your thread.
- You are missing the point that is entirely funded by fees and not taxes.
You are also missing the point they they ALREADY check these things.
You ALREADY have to give reference letters (employer), school history, employment history. They ALREADY check.
What's the big deal looking to see if they school they were ALREADY checking is on a list.
And anyway the applicant is paying. Not the taxpayer.
The ranking is easy. Just go use an existing one of you like. Not hard. Seriously stop trying to make simple stuff did hard. It's not.
And yeah I'm disagreeing with your crazy wrong mental model of the economy. More people PRODUCE more. Every employed person produces more than they consume.
It's not zero sum. There's not only so much to go around. The more immigrants you bring in the more stuff everyone will have. So long ago they are working.
I don't think you get economics.
- And you are missing the simple fact that the things that are ALREADY getting checked is done under the PREVIOUS system, which was designed BEFORE your ballot counting processes.
Old system != New system
Doesn’t matter who is paying. Processes still need to be updated to accommodate your ballot counting and all the new criteria.
Jesus Christ, are you being purposely dense? I am not making simple stuff hard because it is NOT.
“What's the big deal looking to see if they school they were ALREADY checking is on a list.”
Which list? Which one? There are literally dozens. You pick one (best engineering school), you’ll leave out the rest (best medical school, best law school, etc).
You’re the one who doesn’t understand economics. You still haven’t answered my question challenging your claim that America needs more immigrant children.
“It's not zero sum. There's not only so much to go around. The more immigrants you bring in the more stuff everyone will have. So long ago they are working”
Ok, that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. You’re not making any sense. Resources (food, water, land, housing, energy) IS finite. More people coming in doesn’t mean more stuff for everyone.
This is not going anywhere so I’ll just leave you to your shitty thread. Good luck getting anyone else to engage with your delusional ideas. Goodbye.
- I'm saying degrees and employment are already checked as nothing I suggested required any additional check thereby refuting any claim that this is difficult.
It's not hard to come up with a list of top schools, there are lots out there, you are just arguing for the sake of arguing on that.
You are wrong that resources are finite. Take housing, more workers means more demand for housing and more jobs to build housing. So more houses well be built, actually creating jobs.
If you don't get that point you know zero about economics.
- Everything you describe is different US immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
This discussion of merit based immigration will return a system not too far from this current one.
- There is no such thing as a "US immigrant", these will be foreigners who are already in the US or were on some previous visa and this is preferring to double down and continue supporting these existing immigrants over those who never had a US visa.
I think that's sensible. The US bias is also less than the reputational bias. You would get 2 points for a second rate US school, 4 points for IIT, and 5 points for MIT.
US experience increases the chances the person will succeed in the US. People with US school or work experience will have developed a network in the US and have a good idea how to operate in the US system.
- Giving preference to High reputation employer kills smaller companies who want to hire these people because these talent will prefer high reputation employer. You try to draw conclusions from your perspective and forget there are so many other perspectives to look at it form and draw the spec.
- That's a small price to pay to stop the abuse of the system.
It doesn't "kill" them either. Of the points available only a small share are awarded for employment.
But we all know in this industry that Facebook or Google on your resume counts for way more than some startup and this simply puts down on paper exactly what all of us really do think.
- Why? They give you a visa to study in exchange for money. And it specially states that it is a non immigration visa.
There's no reason to double down and have you stay in a different format.
If it is about network and adapting, you might want to start a ranking by country, but I'm not sure living for 4 years more plays a big role there.
- I think there is lots of data that the younger you are when you migrate to a country the better you integrate.
Someone who went to school in the US is implicitly more Americanized than if that same person went to school in a foreign country. They have American friends, have spent four years immersed in American culture. We should double down on them.
Flip you perspective. You just graduated from a US undergrad, you've been in the US since you were 18, you're now 22 and looking for a job. Do you think it feels right that the US should give you that opportunity and continue helping you establish yourself in the country you've now lived in for four formative years?
That person is an IDEAL immigrant.
- More or less I'm saying that once we give someone one visa we should continue to support them.
I do think we should become pickier about who can get a US student visa. Require them to write SAT's and stack rank with a quota. But having identified them as meritorious at that stage we should continue helping them stay in the US.
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- If they were American they don't need a visa. It selects foreigners who were able to get into top US schools.
Though it's not as strong as preference as you make it sound. You would get 5 ballots for MIT or 4 for IIT. That's a much stronger preference for top school worldwide and only a smaller preference for American school.
The current system gives equal weight to University of Phoenix and Harvard, which is think is wrong. It also treats IIT as equivalent to Bangalore Upstairs Technology College (made up but you get the idea). I also think they'd wrong.
It's: Stanford > IIT > Other US > Other foreign
- Here is another thing I think we should do: eliminate the h1 and l1 visa categories completely and roll those 185k visas into the greencard system.
Aside from student visa and tourist visa if you come to the US to work you should always be on a path to citizenship in my opinion.
Could tweak the greencard so that the EAD/AP phase gets extended to two years during which you have to stay with your sponsoring employer, and during which time you can decide where you like it here.
But after that everyone shout just get a greencard.
- OP discards resume from certain “NEGATIVE” universities and his ballot systems applies a lot to experienced people and forgets the young. He doesn’t like people with Masters. Hmm who did Canada butthurt with their points system. Developed countries do not want people who will retire any time soon. So the point systems in Canada is pretty much fair. The younger you are the longer you Ll pay income tax. This is why countries lean more towards young people.
Shift your hate and frustration to something else buddy.