In this series of posts, we will look at immigration from various vantage points. The purpose of these posts are twofold. The first objective is to give the reader a thirst for more information and appreciation of the various components of immigration policy. The second is more subtle and meant to depict immigration as though changing, remains basically the same. The French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr memorialized this concept in 1849 by writing “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”—the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

We will start the series with a hypothetical historical scenario mean to depict the challenges in navigating immigration in a favorable immigration climate from Germany in mid-20th century. It will be followed by a specific recollected family version of immigration from Colombia in the late 1980’s through the 2000’s when immigrants were impeded from emigrating from their home countries and quotas were often inadequate to approve eligible requests.

Outlining these two scenarios encourages us to explore an abbreviated history of immigration, including the human factor. It speaks to the quest for safety and security, and basic human needs such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. One major way to meet those needs is employment, either by self-employment or by working for others.

We continue our survey view of immigration by examining several employment-based immigration processes and classifications including H-1B temporary specialty occupation visas, H-2Bs (seasonal workers) and PERM.

After we have a general understanding of employment-based immigration, it is important that we consider immigration not only in the context of the impact on individuals and families, but also its impact on employees as well as the economy of the United States.

The last post will address where we are now as a nation in this issue, and some of the opportunities we should address regarding immigration. We will visit restrictionism and its impact and how it can be addressed to improve the welfare of individuals and of the United States. We will use data as a reliable basis to look at immigration not only from the personal impact perspective but from the national perspective.