… here’s what I would do with it. I would start a foundation in DC dedicated to measuring and comparing the policy openness to migration of all the world’s countries. The measures would include:
Right to invite. This would measure the ease with which residents of the country who want foreigners to visit or move to the country could get visas for them. Can firms and individuals who want to hire foreigners, or invite them as conference guests, procure visas for them? How fast? How easily? How transparent is the process?
Welcoming to sojourners. This would measure the ease of getting a visa for someone who wants to come to the country on their own initiative, without having received any particular invitation from anyone. Is it easy to get tourist or student visas? Once sojourners arrive, can they work? Are they quite free to move about the country and interact with whom they will, or are they restricted somehow?
Family values. This measure would focus on whether migration restrictions separated families, or allowed them to reunite. If a country frequently separated families, that’s a minus. If it allows families to reunite whom other countries’ immigration laws separated, that’s a plus.
Social integration. This would measure how easily immigrants who want to stay– sojourners or temporary migrants are less important here– can integrate into society, making friends, being accepted, attaining citizenship. It’s not entirely a policy measure but might look at the nature of the society as well. Intermarriage might be a plus here. Xenophobic political parties and hate crimes would be a minus.
Refuge. This measure would focus on political and religious refugees, and a country’s willingness to admit them.
Opportunity. How well do immigrants and sojourners do once they arrive– economically? Do they flourish, or get stuck in low-end jobs or demoralizing welfare-dependency?
Civil rights. Are immigrants’ civil rights respected? Are they subject to police harassment or intimidation? Do they feel safe? Continue reading “If I Had a Million Dollars…” »