Tag Archives: alex nowrasteh

CEI Podcast for March 29, 2012: The History of American Immigration in Six Minutes


Have a listen here.

America’s first immigration law passed in 1790. A more-or-less open borders policy lasted until the 1920s, when immigration was severely restricted. Since then, policies have become more open in some ways, and more closed in others. Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh talks about the reasons behind the major historical shifts, and suggests reforms that would make today’s immigration system fairer and less cumbersome.

CEI Podcast for February 9, 2012: The Immigration Tariff

Have a listen here.

Immigration law is second in complexity only to the income tax. In a new CEI paper, Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh proposes scrapping the whole thing and replacing it with a tariff. This is a much more humane approach to immigration, and in many cases will be less expensive for immigrants than the lawyers and fees they currently have to pay while they live in legal limbo. A tariff would also reduce illegal immigration by eliminating black markets. Money that currently goes to illegal smugglers and human traffickers could instead go to the U.S. Treasury. The idea can appeal to both the left and the right.

CEI Podcast for January 12, 2012: Mistaken Deportations

Have a listen here.

Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh tells Jakadrien Turner‘s story and explains what it means for the immigration reform debate. Turner is a 14-year old girl from Texas who was mistakenly deported to Colombia. Turner is not Hispanic, does not speak Spanish, and has no connections to Colombia whatsoever. It took six months of pleading and legal maneuvering before authorities allowed her to return home. This was not an isolated incident. The way to prevent future cases like this, Nowrasteh argues, is radically simplifying our overly complex immigration and citizenship laws.

The Simpsons and Immigration

Art Carden has an excellent column about immigration, and not just because the first third is about The Simpsons. One key point:

Also, making something illegal isn’t the same thing as stopping it. The formal barriers to legal immigration are so onerous and the opportunities in the United States are so great that there is a thriving underground market in smuggling people across the border. I fear that the institutional steps that would be required to completely stop illegal immigration would make the current excesses of the Transportation Security Administration look like child’s play. Even if we grant the assumptions of immigration opponents about the costs of immigration, it is by no means clear that Fortress USA would bear any resemblance to a “land of the free.”

Read the whole thing. My colleague Alex Nowrasteh and I made a similar point last year.

CEI Podcast for September 22, 2011: E-Verify

Have a listen here.

E-Verify is a program that checks the immigration status of new hires. The House is expected to vote on legislation that would make E-Verify mandatory nationwide. Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh thinks E-Verify should be scrapped altogether. Not only does it make it more expensive for companies to hire people, it misses over half of the undocumented immigrants it is supposed to identify.

CEI Podcast for July 28, 2011: Immigration Reform

Have a listen here.

President Obama made a speech on immigration reform this week. He is looking for a dance partner in Congress to ease restrictions on the immigrant-dependent high-tech sector. Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh points out that there are several bills already in Congress that would do just that, including the STAPLE Act and the DREAM Act.

Eliminate the Cap on H-1B Visas

My colleague Alex Nowrasteh has an op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily where he makes the case for liberalizing the H-1B visa for skilled immigrants.

An oft-neglected point he makes is that if companies can’t legally get the workers they want to come here, they’ll go abroad to hire them.

As with most anything else, prohibiting or limiting immigration comes with unintended, but not unforeseeable consequences.

Read the whole thing here.