My immigration policy is generally of the type: “sure, come on over” (though maybe not all at once). But here is variant I would like to adopt immediately:
Any foreigner who works/has worked for the US military can automatically immigrate to the US whenever he/she wants to (well, as long as they are not terrorists or have in some other way committed crimes against the US or its citizens).
I got this idea from reading a description of the situation of Afghani citizens who have been interpreting for US troops, often risking their lives in the process. They face probable torture or death if the Taliban gets hold of them. Apparently, there have been 2,630 Afghanis working for the US who have applied for a visa, yet not a single one has been issued yet. It should be easy–automatic, even–to get one of these visas.
Writing in “Political Diary” (wsj.com, subscription only), Anne Jolis writes:
Other than safety from the Taliban, what exactly do the Afghans want with U.S. residency? Most say they would come right back to Afghanistan. “If the U.S. would want me in the Army, I’d do it, I’d join — I like helping the Americans,” says Zekrullah.
Walli nods in agreement. “I just want to start my life, work hard. The first thing I’d do would be to keep translating for the Americans, join the Army if that were possible.”
Even 40-year-old Mohammad of Helmand Province, who has been interpreting for Americans for three-and-a-half years, says he’d seek to continue his U.S. military service: “I’d come back to Afghanistan and keep doing this,” he says. “The difference is that I’d know I could then go to America and be safe.”
This touched me, not only as something we ought to be doing, but as a testament of the decency and hard work of our troops. In making foreign policy, where discussions are often just about power and interests, we sometimes forget that there are good guys and bad guys and that it usually isn’t hard to tell the difference.