The Brewery: Citizen Exchange Immigration

July 21st, 2010 § 0 comments

As we know, I’m trying to get to the US to work and live for a bit. I was well aware that this wouldn’t be easy, mainly because of the painful immigration processes most countries have in place. I remember swearing to myself that I would NEVER emigrate ever again after going through the process to get my Aussie Permanent Residency.

Governments, and some citizens, seem to be dead against immigration these days. It’s largely regarded as a bad thing, with immigrants seen as people running away from a bad existence in their countries of origin, with little money and education, and therefore a drain on the precious space and resources each nation is so hell bent on protecting. Funny, a huge majority of the immigrants I know have emigrated not because of the bad situation in their countries, but because they had the option available.

So here’s something I’ve been thinking about, which I think would make governments take more kindly to immigration and make it easier for people to move around the world. A straight swap of citizens, one of mine for one of yours. I’m naming it after the Prisoner Exchange programs governments seem more than happy to do. If I want to get to Country X to live for however long, someone from Country X gets to take my place in the country I’m leaving. I’m not gonna suggest any criteria for the citizens being exchanged – bureaucracy is ace at coming up with those as it is – but I do believe it solves the ‘drain on resources’, ‘population control’ and ‘brain drain’ arguments usually thrown up in these debates.

Of course, what I’d really like is for all nations to open up their borders and let us, the citizens of planet Earth, roam around freely. (Do we require that migratory birds apply for visas?) But look governments, I’m willing to compromise. Isn’t it time you do too?

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