The idea of merit-based immigration basically means that some people are “better” for the United States than others in terms of their skills, experience and financial resources. Proponents of merit-based immigration laud the benefits and reasoning behind this kind of immigration strategy that fast-tracks certain immigrants over others to receive entry, work permits, permanent residency and citizenship in the United States.
Certainly, merit-based immigration benefits some, but not others. Specifically, it benefits those deemed to be “achievers” by society based on various metrics we use to judge success. These metrics include the level of education someone has achieved, the business success and acumen someone has mastered, special artistic and musical talents and — for lack of a better way of putting it — the size of one’s bank account.
However, aren’t there other more difficult-to-measure and abstract metrics that one can use to judge the quality of someone’s contribution to a country? What government checkbox or questionnaire will reveal how good of a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle someone is? What immigration application can test the capacity of a simple gardener to transform someone’s life?
Clearly, there are more ways to contribute to a society than having a good education and an important-sounding job. Yes, doctors, lawyers and engineers are valuable members of society. However, all of us who have had an important grandfather or grandmother know that we wouldn’t be as “successful” in life as we are today without his or her influence.
If you or a loved one are a so-called “difficult immigration case,” don’t give up. America needs you and your contribution. Make sure you employ every legal strategy available to gain the permanent residency status you desire.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “The benefits of merit-based immigration,” Andrew G. Kadar, accessed May 03, 2018