Yesterday I blogged about the pitch competition I helped judge. I had some thoughts while I was judging it. The confirmed a lot of the gut feeling that I have had over the years and solidified them.
The most militant venture/startup people on issues like immigration are on the coasts. They are incredibly outspoken about it. After yesterday, I understand why they are so outspoken.
My own take on immigration is that I am for it. I am very empathetic to people who have a fear because of terrorism. We all can agree we need to keep the bad guys out. But, while there might be some bad guys that try to get in, on the whole, there aren’t.
As I listened to teams pitch yesterday and looked at their advisory boards I saw very few white guys. People were every color of the rainbow and most had advanced degrees. We need to keep those people in the US. We need to make the US hospitable for people like that to emigrate to.
After my experience at the G7/I7, I have been thinking a lot about the future of work. On all kinds of technical projects, borders are not going to matter and in many cases don’t matter today. Collaboration happens in the cloud. At the same time, because there is a social safety net and a cost to taxpayers for that net, we need to think hard about what it looks like and how it’s paid for. Sure, we need strong borders but we need to make it possible for people to easily pass through them too.
I don’t think Democrats have immigration policy right at all. But, Republicans aren’t on the right side of policy either. Like everything these days it’s way too politicized. Turning California into a “sanctuary state” might feel good morally to people who want loose immigration laws. But, it’s not going to do anything about the problem of getting highly educated entrepreneurial people to come and stay.
Maybe the first step in designing good immigration policy is rethinking our social safety net.