I don't know if it's true in general immigration situations, but I think that people immigrating under a refugee status can relocate to the USA faster sometimes if they are willing to go to less popular cities.
Let's say refugees are given a list of preferences. Their first preference might be Los Angeles. They might have to wait two years to get approved to go there. However, if they come to Kansas City, it might be just one year, or less.
I saw a movie entitled The Good Lie about a group of young men, called the Lost Boys of Sudan, who came to live in Kansas City. I recall that when they were in the refugee camp, they were given a choice of where to go, and they picked Kansas City because they would be allowed to immigrate faster.
I always wondered why immigrants seem to choose New York City or Los Angeles. Many immigrants don't have a lot of savings and come with very little, and they seem to pick the most expensive places to live. It would seem to me that they could stretch their savings a lot longer in places like Kansas City, where the cost of living is 60 percent less than in NYC, San Francisco, or LA. I get why the highly educated immigrants pick those cities if they have a very marketable skill. Maybe all immigrants, whether skilled or not, tend to pick the most familiar American cities that they have seen on TV and in films.
Despite the unfortunate anti-immigrant sentiment right now in this country, I am a proponent of immigration. I have seen the benefits of having a lot of immigrants in cities where I've lived. The cities benefit by being more cosmopolitan and interesting.
Immigrants tend to be more inclined to start businesses. They tend to be very self-sufficient and hard-working people.
Another reason to promote immigration is the fact that the birth rate has dropped so much. This has huge implications to our Social Security program. The low birthrate means that there are going to be fewer people paying into Social Security and Medicare.
Between 1945 and 1965, the decline in worker-to-beneficiary ratios went from 41 to 4 workers per beneficiary.
The Social Security program matured in the 1960s, when Americans were consistently having fewer children, living longer, and earning wages at a slower rate than the rate of growth in the number of retirees. As these trends have continued, today there are just 2.9 workers per retiree—and this amount is expected to drop to two workers per retiree by 2030.
The program was stable when there were more than 3 workers per beneficiary. However, future projections indicate that the ratio will continue to fall from two workers to one, at which point the program in its current structure becomes financially unsustainable.
In the political debate over immigration, this is rarely mentioned, and it needs to be brought up. It's a huge issue. I think if more Americans realized that their Social Security benefits are imperiled over this one issue, they might be more willing to allow more immigration.
If we directed increased immigration to specific cities that have lost population, there would also be a benefit for those cities since there would be more residents providing tax revenue for these depopulated cities, and demand for housing would increase. Cities that come to mind are places like Detroit, St. Louis, Buffalo, Cleveland, Camden, NJ, Many of these cities have infrastructure for much larger populations, and struggle to provide basic services because they don't have enough residents to pay for them.
In cities where there is too much demand for housing, and housing costs have skyrocketed, the government would put a moratorium on new immigration to those cities. Of course, once the immigrant has become an American citizen, they would be free to move wherever they wanted.
I think we are being babies when it comes to accepting refugees. The USA is taking in around 10,000 Syrian refugees. Germany has indicated it will accept around a million. I heard on the news that there are 2.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey alone.
I think the USA could easily accept around 1 million Syrian refugees. Germany is a much smaller country and they are.