Sometimes It’s Simple

Did you hear about the student who took a lot of notes? He condensed the notes into 10 pages. He edited the pages into a 5-page outline. He shortened the outline to a paragraph, then a sentence, then a single word. He went into his final exam … and forgot the word.

That word must have been “simplify”.

Jeffrey’s daughter Rebecca, shown here testing the Sprint 26, is earning a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University.


In her field placement, she helps people try to avoid becoming homeless. A typical client works hard to take home $1300, pays $112 to commute to work, and her rent is $1200 (cheap for NYC). You do the math.

Rebecca says: “These working people have no money.” Her solution? “Provide it!” It’s so simple, a kangaroo puppet can see it. Hash out the details, but just do it.

There’s a lesson here.

As House and Senate fight about Comprehensive Immigration Reform, they should keep it simple.

Management and labor argue over limits on worker visas. But why are there limits? How can Congress or a government agency decide on the “right” number of pear pickers or software designers? Bureaucrats should screen visa applicants for honorable intent and enforce wage, hour and safety laws. Let the parties work out the rest among themselves. Let the best worker get the job, regardless of place of birth. We’ll all be better off.

There are quotas on family visas. Why should the spouse of a lawful permanent resident have to wait years to immigrate? It hurts America when our laws break up families.

If an American state says two people are married, they are married for every purpose. Yet federal bureaucrats can choose to call “fraudulent” what is valid under state law. The feds either should issue green cards based on the parties’ personal relationship without regard to paper formalities, or issue them based on civil unions without regard to the details of the relationship. None of this nonsense of whether people are “married enough”.

In other words, get sensible. Get real.

A side benefit would be to improve the asylum system. Jeffrey has represented asylum applicants who should have been welcomed based on their existing ties to our people or their value to our society: doctors, academics, lawyers, nurses, clergy, a geophysicist, a banker, soldiers, engineers, diplomats, entrepreneurs, an economist, artists, etc. – and manual laborers whose willing hands are desperately needed, particularly in agriculture.

Why should good productive people from nasty countries have to ask for refuge? Only because our self-destructive laws bar the door on other grounds.

New workers don’t “steal” jobs. They create jobs, producing for their own and others’ benefit, becoming customers for other businesses. Keeping families intact is valuable for its own sake.

Let in workers because they are workers, family members because they have family here, and asylum can become the sparingly used safety net it was intended to be.

Then we can empty our expensive immigration jails, live up to our country’s reputation for humanity, and HRF can target even more of its resources on efforts to end conditions abroad that create refugees in the first place. For example, if HRF and its allies can disrupt the Syrian atrocity supply chain from Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Angola, Italy, Greece, etc. – even the USA – the Syrians who leave Syria will be pursuing productive opportunities abroad, not fleeing as refugees needing humanitarian aid or asylum.

Then we can deal with real problems – like homelessness – and stop worrying about problems we create by imposing rules that make no sense.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s Simple

  1. As a man who has had no home except the seat of his bike for years, I hope that all will focus on those forced into poverty that not even I can imagine. On my bike now for 5 years at least I have hope because I am in the U.S.

    Instead of retribution let us help those that hurt us. In our wealth as a nation we have the power to change


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