I heard yesterday a radio story about something called the “golden visa” or the “gold visa” or some such name.
The name – whatever it may have been – was obviously ironic and not its official government name.
What that visa is is a US immigration program that lets candidates contribute half a million dollars in rural or specially designated economic zones, or a million dollars to normal urban economic zones. That money is to be used to generate some form of net plus economic activity in the zone to which that money has been contributed. The money is provided to American business entities to generate the net plus economic activity. For that contribution the contributor gets for himself or herself and his or her family a two year visa to live in the US. If after two years the activity generated by the contribution can be shown to have generated ten new jobs that can be shown to be sustainable the visa holders get to have permanent residency and can become citizens.
Not a bad idea.
Apparently the program is quite widely used by the hospitality industry. Marriot it was said has taken in a half billion dollars of investable capital from the program.
A couple of days later I heard a local Seattle story about a guy who got here in the dark of night after risking his life crossing the southern border and paying dearly to a coyote.
He scrambled around for awhile after getting here doing work that people like him can do.
He accumulated some savings and invested it in a food truck.
He now has 3 restaurants.
And he still has his food truck.
He employs 18 people.
They are all immigrants like him.
Unlike him, they all have social security numbers.
They pay taxes.
He pays taxes.
I doubt that he paid the coyote a half million dollars.
But if the Powers ever ferret him out they will deport him.
I guess – said the republican party – that is as it ought to be.
“Why?” I heard myself muttering “can’t we let this guy become a permanent resident?’
“It’s just not right” I heard from my republican straw man.