[New York Rep. Anthony] Weiner is sponsoring a bill that gives models “of distinguished merit and ability” their own visa classification (P-4 status) which would group them with entertainers and athletes.Now I'm not sure how one objectively measures the merit or ability of a fashion model. In fact, I know so little about the "industry" that I've only heard of two of the three mentioned above*. But any rule that keeps a) rich people, b) smart people, or c) beautiful women out of the US is bad policy.
...models coming to work in the U.S. compete with high-tech workers for the same type of H1-B visa. The problem is that there are only 85,000 available visas and typically 165,000 applicants. In other words, each visa given to Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell means that one fewer biotech researcher or computer technician can enter the country.
As the competition for visas has gotten tougher in recent years, the number of models granted permission to enter the country has waned...
We have about a million legal immigrants and another million in illegal ones every year, but we can only carve out room for 85,000 H1-B workers? That's crazy. It ought to be 5x that. We ought to be making brain drain, money drain, and beauty drain national policies.
So long as people want to come here, we ought to be picking the best ones, and as many of them as we can get. Before we take the poor, huddled, befuddled masses, we ought to be looking for engineers, multi-millionaires, and entrepreneurs. We ought to be seeking out guys like Madieu Williams and Kofi Kingston, the Swedish Bikini Team, or those Chinese who are hard-working and clever enough to accumulate $55,000 apiece in that communist hellhole and want to come here bad enough to risk it all to be smuggled in. Hells yeah, we'll take 'em all.
If we're going to take 2 million people** every year - and it seems we are, one way or another - then we ought to make an effort to take the kind of people we want living here.
* not coincidentally, the two who have been mocked on MXC. If Gerstenbunchen or whoever has, I don't remember it.
** 1,842,570. give or take a few Mexicans who declined to be counted.