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Will America and Russia continue to accept skilled immigrants from diverse parts of the world despite nationalist opposition? Part 1. Roger Algase

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Update: December 23. The following comment has been rewritten and now appears, in revised form and under a different title, in the December 23 issue of Immigration Daily.

I refer readers to that issue in order to see the latest version.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law


The US and Russia are the world's two largest nations terms of immigration flows and both have programs in place to attract skilled and professional workers who can benefit the economy and society. The US, of course has skilled and professional worker programs such as H-1B, O-1 and L-1 "nonimmigrant" visas, as well as green cards based on labor certification, extraordinary ability, and national interest waivers - to name only some of the avenues to permanent residence available.

While H-1B and the permanent residence programs mentioned above are all subject to annual limits, including (except for H-1B) per country quotas which have been the subject of much discussion and debate as to their fairness and utility, it has been a fundamental principle of America's immigration system for the past half century, ever since the landmark immigration reform law of 1965, that skilled and professional immigration should be based primarily on merit and need, without discrimination against any group of immigrants based race, color, religion or national origin.

It is also so well-known and obvious that extensive discussion is not necessary, that prior to 1965, all immigration to the US (other than from the Western Hemisphere), was subject to a "national origins" quota system which heavily favored immigrants from the "Nordic" countries of western Europe, and virtually barred entry from Southern and Eastern Europe (few if any Jews, Italians or Poles need apply, please), the Middle East and Africa - immigration from Asia already having been barred by other racially discriminatory statutes or treaties.

Though there was a dispute at the time of adoption about whether the 1965 immigration reform law was intended to have this result or not, there can be no question that since its enactment, immigration to the US, including immigration by skilled and professional workers, has been open to qualified immigrants from all parts of the world.

For one of many excellent available summaries of the background and effect of what might arguably be the single most important statute in America's entire immigration history, see the following 2015 article by the Migration Policy Institute:

http://migrationpolicy.org/article/g...ation-act-1965

Russia also, especially since 2012, has made a special effort, which has received far less attention than it deserves among US immigration specialists, given that country's size and influence in world affairs, to attract skilled and professional immigrants.

One of the most recent and comprehensive studies, if not the single most comprehensive and scholarly study of this issue available on the Internet at present, of Russia's current policies in attracting skilled and professional immigrants is a January 2016 article entitled Russia's Immigration Policy: New Challenges and Tools, by Lyubov Bisson.

Ms. Bisson's biography at the beginning of the article shows that she is a research fellow at the Department of European Integration Studies, Institute of Europe, at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

I will begin with an outline of these programs, as described in the above article, which is published (in English translation from the Russian) by the Ifri Russia NIS Center, an independent, non-governmental, non-profit research center based in Paris and Brussels.

See: ISBN: 978-2-36567-514-7

(Sorry, I do not have a direct link available. This article can easily be accessed through Google.)

To be continued.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

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Updated 12-23-2016 at 06:28 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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