This proposed system would represent a departure from the demand-driven (PERM) model that characterizes the U.S. employment-based immigration system. Under the current system, employers are allowed to select the workers they need, subject to government regulations. Specifically, employers can petition for foreign workers through different visa preference categories. Because they respond directly to the labor needs of employers, immigration systems that are demand-driven and employer-led have proven to be the most successful models for facilitating economic growth and competitiveness.
Under the proposed points system, potential immigrants are largely valued in terms of their human-capital attributes (an individual’s current skills, knowledge, and experience), and therefore, their presumed capacity to produce economic value. This idea is a proven fallacy. It’s the needs of U.S. employers that create the PERM System. The PERM system on the other hand is designed to meet the existing needs of U.S. employers.
Switching from a demand-driven to a human-capital model entails some risks. While selective migration strategies such as the points systems can be an effective way of attracting highly- educated individuals, the intended objective of increasing national economic competitiveness is not guaranteed. Research has shown that even if an immigrant selection system produces a higher proportion of high-skilled immigrants, the economy does not reap benefits if these people cannot find jobs to match their skill set.
Both Australia and Canada use points-based systems to select economic migrants. In both cases, qualified immigrants selected through such systems often have difficulties finding or maintaining employment in their professions; in other words, they have not been able to fully utilize all of their skills.
As documented by the Canadian case, the human capital-driven points-based system is unable to assess intangible qualities such as social adaptability or emotional intelligence. Thus, the degree to which the system reflects the hiring needs and practices of the Canadian labor market has been questioned. According to Canadian immigration expert Arif Anwar, “In Canada, the disconnect between government policy and private sectors’ practices are exacerbated and play a role in the general lack of success of the system. Skilled immigrants who arrive without arranged employment have difficulty finding employment in their chosen field.
What are the specifics of the points system included in the RAISE Act?
A maximum of 140,000 immigrant visas would be issued each fiscal year based on the points system. Spouses and minor children of the principal applicant would count against the 140,000 cap. This proposed cap on visas is the same quantity as currently allocated for employment based visas only. This proposal change to the current PERM system would create an undo burden to U.S. employers in need of qualified workers.
NOTICE: The time to file a PERM is now before the law changes. WE CAN HELP!