Baffling Immigration Policy Keeps Out the Skilled, Welcomes the Costly

U.S. immigration law is full of contradictions.  On the one hand, U.S. immigration laws keep out skilled immigrants who would help our economy, by sharply limiting the number of H-1B visas, and making legal immigration a very difficult and lengthy process.  (Economists overwhelmingly support allowing more skilled immigrants to come to the U.S.)

Yet, simultaneously, Congress has just voted to repeal a ban on AIDS-infected people becoming permanent residents of the U.S., even though the Congressional Budget Office says doing so will cost taxpayers many millions of dollars.  Health care costs associated with AIDS often exceed $100,000 per person per year.  Permanent residents, like citizens, can be eligible for Medicaid, as well as the many taxpayer-subsidized health-care programs aimed specifically at people with AIDS. 

(We wrote earlier about the counterproductive effects of some taxpayer-funded AIDS programs overseas, which have undermined anti-AIDS messages and resulted in a brain drain out of primary care in some African health care systems).

Meanwhile, an amnesty for illegal aliens is likely in the next Congress, which will have a bigger liberal majority than the current one.  And some states already give illegal aliens in-state tuition, even while denying in-state tuition to some deserving U.S. citizens, like the children of U.S. soldiers who currently live in the state, but who technically have permanent domiciles in other states.