Principle of Immigration Reform: It Shouldn't Take a Lawyer to Do a Visa Application

By John Miano on October 16, 2013

Last week I started putting down principles for real immigration reform.

For this week I state the principle that the immigration system should be simple.

One measure of simplicity is that the system should not require lawyers to do visa applications. Yes, immigration lawyers would be needed to handle hearings and complex immigration matters but the very fact that there are law firms that do little other than churning out paperwork demonstrates a major problem in the current system.

Of course immigration lawyers are going to fight to preserve the convoluted system we have now. The ability to charge $1,000 or more to do nothing more than file an H-1B visa application has created an industry of paper shuffling. One of the reasons the latest attempt at immigration reform was a dismal failure is that it was entrusted to immigration lawyers who have a vested interest in preserving the current mess.

If Congress really wants to reform the immigration system we would see them employing process engineers to devise an efficient system based upon national priorities; not immigration lawyers who thrive on complexity and ambiguity.