Comments on: The immigration-averse USA A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: TFF Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:36:45 +0000 matthewslyman, thanks for the story!

Whatever the policies, it is healthy for all if they are transparent, consistent, and efficiently implemented. The INS is **THE WORST** bureaucracy in the US in this regard. Byzantine and arbitrary. Doesn’t sound like the UKBA is much better?

By: matthewslyman Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:21:47 +0000 p.p.s. That UKBA officer I mentioned couldn’t even get our names right. Before dismissing us from his office, he hastily drafted an official letter to us, and put my wife’s maiden name at the top, even though we’d been married (with UK marriage certificate) and living in the country for two years already! Still, no apology from the UKBA for wasting our time.

If anyone’s wondering about the benefits of immigration in our case, my wife is a well qualified intelligent person who speaks perfect English. We are both principled and law-abiding people. Her presence here is a huge net positive for me, and by derivation from that and her service elsewhere, her presence is a huge net positive for the UK. But the authorities apparently don’t want it to happen – because of a political atmosphere created and sustained by the tabloid newspapers… Instead, they first let her into the country, and then threaten to break us apart after we have a family already, further threatening to put her under stress that could have caused her to miscarry our second child! Fortunately our children both arrived safely (no thanks to the UKBA).

My wife’s presence has boosted the UK economy and on balance has brought cash into the country, but they still make us pay about £3000GBP total plus lose months of time on an administrative goose-chase, for the privilege of doing them a favour!

Before visiting the UK at my invitation, my wife actually applied three times for a U.S. study visa (with willing and capable U.S. sponsors backing her up) and was refused three times without any explanation. So I apologise to you all that you missed out – she came here instead, at my invitation. We took our time and did things the legal way – and in the end, despite the UKBA’s obstinacy, we’re glad we did things the right way. They don’t have a legal leg to stand on if they want to break our family up now.

BTW I have heard of similar cases happening for people emigrating from the USA to the UK, or vice-versa. It’s not easy, even if you check ALL of the boxes…
Sorry for hijacking the thread. This story got me going a bit…

By: matthewslyman Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:59:11 +0000 p.s. In addition to large amount of time spent gathering documentation and applying for that VISA in the first place, I lost another week (yes, a whole week) of work fixing the mess that the UKBA created without reason. And this was after meeting ALL legal requirements, doing EVERYTHING the fully legal way from day 1, and paying an extra $500USD approx. for the UKBA’s “premium” VISA application service.

It’s no wonder people try to get into the country illegally. Not that we would ever do that, mind.

By: matthewslyman Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:53:41 +0000 System is broken for sure; and not just in the USA.

I visited the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) Sheffield office early last year after meeting ALL official requirements for indefinite leave to remain in the country, and after supplying ALL officially required documentation; and sat there with my pregnant wife and infant daughter only to be told by a man in uniform sitting behind a bullet-proof glass screen that unless we supplied further documentation that wasn’t officially required and which we had already demonstrated was impossible for us to provide, my wife would be deported to Russia. He gave us a deadline of about two to four weeks (including unreliable postal service) to meet his IMPOSSIBLE additional requirements (absolutely not required by law), with the threat that my breast-feeding wife and infant daughter would be permanently separated from each other, and she would be separated from me by the UKBA (though legally married) if we failed to meet the requirements he was arbitrarily applying to our case according to his own whims and misconceptions of the rules. We tried to explain to him the ACTUAL rules as they applied to our case (which we had read thoroughly), but he just ignored us and literally spent 1/4 of the time interviewing us that we had been led to believe the UKBA would actually spend on our case, before moving on to the next case. We complained of course – and kicked up a fuss with our politicians (not the first time with the UKBA). Results of complaint? VISA granted but UKBA officer completely “exonerated” by internal investigation… Our word against his apparently, even though they had a zillion CCTV cameras and microphones pointing at us in their office!

By: TinyTim1 Wed, 18 Apr 2012 07:47:14 +0000 Hey onthelake,

“piddling” $500,000 > $316,000

The UK wants less.

By: onthelake Tue, 17 Apr 2012 17:31:39 +0000 Really Felix. Why do you think the US should sell itself cheap?

TO immigrate to the UK as an entrepenauer you have to

(1) have at least 200000 pounds ($31600+ ) AND

(2) enough money to support yourself while living in the UK

To immigrate to the UK as an investor, you have to

(1) have ability to invest £1,000,000 of your own money in the UK ($1,593,000+) OR

(2) have £2,000,000 ($3,200,000+) or more in personal assets, plus a loan of £1,000,000 or more for investment in the UK.

And that is YOUR country.

The UK wants a lot more than the piddling $500000 the US asks for from investors.

By: TFF Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:49:57 +0000 @StefanG, I doubt it is coincidence…

At least some of those countries welcome immigration to feed a booming resource-driven economy. Obviously a healthy economy will suffer less in a recession.

As for the others, immigration drives population growth, and population growth drives many aspects of economic growth. Again, growth is the best cure for a recession.

Suggestions that we are down to “zero net immigration” are very scary. We are in deep economic doo-doo if that doesn’t change. Until now, it has been our primary advantage over Europe and Japan.

By: TFF Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:46:16 +0000 “TFF, you surely see a far better demographic teaching at a private school then you would in a different setting, no?”

Yes and no… The school charges $6k tuition, with substantial needs-based financial aid. We are truly a charitable organization, and many of our families are on public assistance of one kind or another.

“My sister is a teacher at an inner city public school and she is literally a parent to many children who are very neglected.”

We have some of that in common too, though in each case there is SOMEBODY in the family who cares enough to scrape together the money and enroll them.

“If you think the broad African American population is doing just fine I would have to vehemently disagree.”

DanHess, I never used the phrase “doing just fine”, so please do not put words in my mouth. What I said is that I believe the racial attitudes are healing, one generation at a time, at least here in the Northeast. Remember that the generation growing up today is the FIRST generation that wasn’t born into codified segregation and open racial war. And the attitudes you cite are a huge part of why I would never consider living south of the Mason-Dixon line. I’m not that much a glutton for punishment!

“Shouldn’t we do better by these people before taking on the massive challenge of further immigration, most of which is from the third world these days and in need of massive help?”

I see it as two separate questions, personally…

“Shrink from the responsibility if you must, but judgment must be exercised on this issue by somebody.”

Huh? Have you been drinking, Mr. Fox?

“So the problem in the US is not the high level of immigrants, it’s the low levels of tolerance for immigrants.”

Yes — but also the manner in which immigration has been handled. The US has turned a blind eye to illegal immigration while keeping tight quotes on legal immigration. The opposite policies would be more effective.

It is extremely unhealthy for a society to push otherwise hard-working and honest people outside the bounds of the law. Yes, I know, they aren’t supposed to be here. But they ARE here, and we aren’t about to change that. So find a way to bring them within the law!

By: StefanG Tue, 17 Apr 2012 12:00:54 +0000 DanHess: “We have, by a large margin, more immigrants that any other country on Earth.”

The relevant statistic is the percentage of foreign born residents, and by this metric the US is nowhere near the top, with 2009 figures showing 12.5% of US residents foreign born, a number that is dropping.

Compare with 21% for Switzerland (2008), 24% for Australia (2006), 20% for Canada (2006), 14% for Sweden (2010). Coincidentally or not, these 4 economies weathered the recent economic turbulence exceptionally well.

So the problem in the US is not the high level of immigrants, it’s the low levels of tolerance for immigrants.

(Some collated figures, some of them a bit old: ntries_by_foreign-born_population_in_200 5)

By: TinyTim1 Tue, 17 Apr 2012 08:31:10 +0000 As an ex L-1 and H1-B holder I share Bruce’s view of the Kafka-esque process.
Also, it is an obvious truism that TSA & USCIS just say “no”.

However, as unattractive a view as it might be, surely a rich immigrant is preferable to a poor one?

From the start the rich guy will spend more and invest more. His chances of “success” are simply far higher than someone without all the advantages that wealth brings.

There is a reason why London welcomes the non-Doms; just ask any property developer in Kensington and Chelsea.

Of course, if your aim is to reduce income inequality then you need to welcome immigrants with below median income/wealth.

But if you want to improve the state of the overall economy adding a whole trache of high-spending rich folk would give you a much needed shot in the arm…

If you let me sell up in the UK and buy a place in the US for $250k with a free green card, I promise you I will come over and spend like a sailor.