George Borjas Asks Congress Why No Lawyer Guest Workers

I’m late posting this, but George Borjas is “a person who matters” on immigration. He recently testified in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

Borjas proposes:

[I]nstead of talking about an H-1B program that lets in 65,000 high-tech workers (workers that most people attending those hearings have little in common with), we should instead think about an A-1B program that lets in 65,000 attorneys. These attorneys would have passed some sort of certification exam prepared by the American Bar Association. The test could be very, very hard, but I bet that Kaplan-like test centers would magically spring up all over the world to teach the requisite skills to would-be lawyers and that many potential lawyers would quickly join the queue.

And of course Congress would never pass such a bill – too many lawyers.

Borjas adds:

In fact, why not attach the proposal to create an A-1B program every time someone introduces legislation to increase the H-1B cap? I would love to hear the reactions from the usual suspects–e.g., the American Immigration Lawyers Association–to the A-1B program. Would it shock anyone if this was the first “more immigrants, please” proposal that they would reject outright? Maybe then we could have a real debate about the costs and benefits of the H-1B program.

This is an excellent tongue-in-cheek proposal, and it should be creating more talk.

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