Residents Rescuing Refugees: Welcoming Ukrainians Yearning To Breathe Free

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with George Mason Law Professor, author, and immigration expert Ilya Somin about the newly announced Welcome Corps program which empowers Americans to sponsor and help relocate refugees from Ukraine and other places of war and persecution.

Guest:

Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, democratic theory, federalism, and migration rights.  He is the author many books, including most recently,  Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

Somin’s writings have been cited in decisions by the United States Supreme Court, multiple state supreme courts and lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court of Israel. He has testified on the use of drones for targeted killing in the War on Terror before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. In 2009, he testified on property rights issues at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Somin writes regularly for the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, now affiliated with Reason magazine (previously affiliated with the Washington Post from 2014 to 2017). From 2006 to 2013, he served as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Reviewone of the country’s top-rated law and economics journals.

Somin has served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has also been a visiting professor or scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Hamburg, Germany, the University of Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Zhengzhou University in China. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Somin was the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at Northwestern University Law School in 2002-2003.  In 2001-2002, he clerked for the Hon. Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Professor Somin earned his BA, Summa Cum Laude, at Amherst College, MA in Political Science from Harvard University, and JD from Yale Law School.

More from Ilya Somin:

 

WATCH:

 

Get new episodes of Hubwonk in your inbox!

Please excuse typos.

Speaker 1:

This is Hub Wonk. I’m Joe Soji.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Hub Wonk, a podcast of Pioneer Institute, a think tank in Boston of the nearly 8 million migrants fleeing the war Ravage country of Ukraine. In the past year, only 1,610 have been accepted by the US as refugees. Policymakers aware that the slow and Byzantine refugee system is unsuited for this enormous crisis, have developed new targeted migrant admission programs that streamline the application process, and enlist the help and generosity of concerned American residents. On January 18th, the Biden administration announced a new pilot program called Welcome Core, which empowers groups of five residents to provide friendship, guidance, and financial support for those in the Refugee Resettlement program. This appeal to the goodwill of Americans aspires to both increase the number of refugees resettled, but also to better ensure a more successful economic integration for those leaving Europe’s forest country. How does the US Immigration system typically define and process refugees?

Speaker 1:

How do these new programs such as Welcome COR differ from the past? And how effective will these new initiatives be vetting, admitting and matching refugees to Americans eager to show compassion for their plight? My guest today is George Mason, law professor and immigration expert, Ilia Soman. Professor Soman is the author of the recently released book for you to Move Foot Voting, migration, and Political Freedom in which he makes the case that the ability to move offers migrants a powerful tool with which to improve their lives, and also incentivizes governments to create policies in which residents prefer to stay and live. Professor Soman will share with us his views on the current refugee admission system in the US and how the newer programs rolled out in the past year might improve the prospects for those fleeing war and persecution. When I return, I’ll be joined by immigration expert Professor Ilia Soman.

Speaker 1:

Okay, we’re back. This is Hub Wonk. I’m Joe Silva, and I’m now pleased to be joined by George Mason, law professor, an immigration expert, Ilia Soman. Welcome back to Hub Wonk. Ilia. Thank you so much for having me. Okay. Now we’re gonna talk today about or actually, today is the day after President Biden announced a new program to streamline the US Refugee Program. I think the initiative is being called Welcome Core. And it’s what I found interesting, at least on you know, the whole day I’ve had to analyze it. Private citizens can band together and sponsor refugees for entry into the us. I think it’s safe to say, while our listeners have a broad range of opinions on about immigration policy, it’s my gut that says Americans are very sympathetic to the plight of refugees escaping for their lives. That’s, that’s just my my, my feeling. So, before we dive into the implications of yesterday’s executive branch initiative, let’s start by defining terms. I, I’ve already used the term refugee. So for the benefit of our listeners who don’t understand the term, what is a refugee and how does the US define it legally?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So refugee is one of those words where the legal definition is often quite different from the sort of colloquial definition that we use in ordinary language and ordinary people. When we speak about refugees, we just usually mean those escaping some kind of horrible circumstances, oppression, war violence for something of this sort. But the legal definition of refugee used by the United States and also incorporated in the refu International Refugee Convention is people who are fleeing threats or persecution, account of their race, religion sex membership in a particular social group or political opinion. And that includes a number of different types of persecution. But interestingly, it does not include people fleeing what I’ve have called equal opportunity oppression, where just the govern of a country like North Korea or Cuba or Putin’s Russia just oppresses a wide range of people regardless of their political opinions or their race or religion or ethnicity. And it doesn’t include people fleeing war and violence when that war and violence is just generally endemic to the area, as opposed to targeting them specifically based on one of these kinds of characteristics. So the legal definition of refugee in the law is a much narrower concept than you know, what we might think of as a refugee in ordinary language.

Speaker 1:

So a country like North Korea where everybody’s being tortured because it’s equal opportunity torture they’re, they would not necessarily be refugees. And again, with, in a war where the bombs are falling on everyone again, unfortunately, that wouldn’t be a legal definition of a refugee. So so you make that distinction clear. So let’s, let’s go further and say, okay, now someone wants to come to the US as a refugee. Who determines whether they fall into that category? How, how are these refugee applicants, I suppose I’d call them? How are they vetted by the United States?

Speaker 2:

Currently, the answer is very, very slowly and very, very inefficiently. You can try to apply and the State Department has relevant agency, which will try to vet you and go over the application, but this process has always been fairly s slow and efficient, and in recent years, even more so to a point where it can take many months or years. And then even after that, under the system always says it existed before yesterday you would then have to be assigned to one of, of several officially recognized refugee resettlement agencies, which can also take some time before they can actually enable you to move to the United States. So to give you some more concrete data, in fiscal year 2022, the United States through the formal refugee program that I mentioned, admitted only about 25,000 refugees from everywhere in the world combined.

Speaker 2:

The year before, it was a record world that was even lower than that of 11,000 before the Trump administration, or had been years, or was as high as 120,000 in the like. But even then it was fairly slow and inefficient. And in principle the, the purpose of this system is to ensure that the person really does meet the legal definition of refugee and doesn’t pose some other kind of risk, but there’s not a lot of evidence that this many months for years of waiting is actually worth it in terms of national security or any other kind of benefit.

Speaker 1:

So 25,000 in a world of 8 billion in a country of a a third of a billion. Right. They, these are relatively small numbers, but let’s set that aside. What does then, one, if one makes it through this what seems like a lottery what does that entitle one to when you’re a refugee and you’ve made it through this, this gauntlet, what do you, what, what do you become?

Speaker 2:

The main thing that entitles you too is you get permanent legal residency in the United States a green card, you can even eventually apply for citizenship after a few years. And also you have the right to work in the us. In addition, refugees, unlike other immigrants are entitled to some specific resettlement assistance and the like. So you might say that you know, they get a little bit more in the way of welfare benefits and other immigrants. Those studies show that after a period of years, even in the case of refugees, over time, they end up putting more into the public face than they take out. But if you do make it through the gauntlet, you are eligible for certain benefits that other immigrants might not be eligible for. Even that may not be entirely worth it, given that to get through the gauntlett. You, you, you’re still living in misery often refugee camps and the like for a couple years, or, or, and so most people, if you say you can have some modest welfare benefits for a few years at the end of this, but you first have to spend two years in a refugee camp a lot of people would say, tho those benefits aren’t entirely worth it.

Speaker 1:

Sure, sure. Now we’re gonna talk a little bit, or a lot of, bit, I suppose, about Ukraine. We have talked in the past about Afghanistan when we pulled out of there and left a lot of people on the, on the runway. But where have refugees, at least in the modern times, recent times, where have they historically come from beyond, let’s say Ukraine and Afghanistan?

Speaker 2:

I don’t have the data ready to hand as to where, you know, the most common sources of the people who made it pretty official refugee system are. But I think a lot of them are from the Middle East, Africa, some from Latin America some from other places. Basically countries where either there’s some kind of horrible conflict going on, or there’s some sort of severe oppression based on one of the categories I mentioned earlier, race, religion, ethnicity sex and so forth. So we’re talking about people usually coming from horrible situations where either they’re in the midst of a war fleeing the likes of ISIS, or, or the, like, or they’re fleeing some truly horrific oppressive regime. And not only are they f fleeing that regime, but if they qualify for the status, it probably means that either they were specific, we targeted by the regime for one of these reasons, or they have, you know, a, a strong and plausible fear that they’re, they’re going to be, so, they might be members of a persecuted racial or religious minority. For example, Christians fleeing a radical is Islamist regime or members of minority religions fleeing a government like North Korea, which persecutes them and so on.

Speaker 1:

So we’re nearly one year into the war in Ukraine where Russia invade invaded Ukraine. I’ve recently read that nearly 8 million people have left Ukraine, Ukrainians have left U Ukraine. That’s nearly a quarter of their population. It’s a lot of people, 8 million. How many have we accepted into the us? I don’t know if you have that number, but how many have, let’s say been accepted as refugees? Formally,

Speaker 2:

Very few have been accepted through the formal refugee system that I just described. Probably only one or 2000, however many more have been accepted through other programs, including Uniting Free Ukraine, which we’re probably about to discuss. So the total number of Ukrainians who have come to the us since the larger scale Russian invasion began on February 24th of last year. There was already actually fighting before it then, but the big invasion began last year, a little bit less than a year ago. Since then, we don’t have an exact figure, but probably United States has accepted something like 150 or 200,000 Ukrainians and all.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Now, before yesterday’s announcement, there were you, you alluded to it briefly there there were a couple programs specifically targeted to Ukrainians. We were sympathetic to their, the invasion and the people who were being invaded. You mentioned uniting for Ukraine. I think that was an effort to streamline the process for migrants. And it’s entirely separate from refugee status. Explain how unite for Ukraine worked, and and you know, what, what its participants were offered.

Speaker 2:

Sure. uniting Free Ukraine, like the Welcome Core program, which we’re gonna probably discuss later, is a private refugee sponsorship system where instead of having to go through the complex formal system that I just described a Ukrainian, which by this definition is anybody who is living on the territory of Ukraine as of around mid-February of last year if they find a US sponsor, which is a, you know, an American citizen or a green card holder who lives in the us that the American city, all the American sponsor needs to do is fill out a form on the U US C I s government agency website which shows their financial resources and some other information. The form is called I 1 34 A. And if you submit that form, which also includes some information about the Ukrainian sponsorees then U S C I S will swiftly make a decision as to whether the people qualify.

Speaker 2:

And that decision, unlike the refugee process, can happen very quickly. I, myself am a sponsor and I get an answer about our sponsoree family within nine days after I submitted the form, which by the standards of US government bureaucracy, especially immigration, bureaucracy, is lightning speed. However, there is dispatched that participants in uniting for Ukraine, although they can get in much faster under the current rules, they’re only eligible to legally live and work in the US for up to two years after that. They you know, if they worked, it would probably have to be in the black market, and obviously they might be subject to deportation. A second catch is that if you’re, if you have legal refugee status then the president can’t just revoke it if you wants to it’s a congressionally granted status that for practical purpose is almost impossible to revoke barring some kind of proof of fraud or to, like on the other hand, with uniting for Ukraine, this is a program that depends almost entirely on executive discretion.

Speaker 2:

So, if President Biden wakes up on the wrong side of his bed and decides to end a program, or he just decides it’s not politically advantageous anymore, or if a successor makes a similar decision they probably could succeed in terminating the program in a way that they could not succeed in terminating someone’s refugee status. At least not without enormous difficulty. So, uniting for Ukraine works much faster and more efficiently than the traditional refugee system, which is why we have had well over a hundred thousand Ukrainians enter to us under uniting free Ukraine since the program was created last April. But on the other hand you know, it does have this pre somewhat, some element of precarious that the people are eligible to stay for only up to two years. And their fate is in the hands of whoever happens to be in the White House, at least in Wesson, until Congress were to formally make the program permanent or create a more secure status for the people involved. Indeed,

Speaker 1:

They sound very vulnerable to the wins of, of, of politics as one who’s got a front row seat as an actual sponsor. If you don’t mind me asking, how much of a commitment, I mean you know, to our listeners, they’re imagining, do they move into your attic or do you give them a check? Or do you, you know, go with them on job interviews? What does it look like to be a sponsor?

Speaker 2:

So, Fred, those should have written about this in a bit more detail in an article in the Washington Post and later in a series of posts at the Vole Conspiracy blog, at the Reason Magazine website. If you look at the rules on this, the rules don’t really precisely define exactly how much of a commitment you’re supposed to make. It just says that the sponsor is supposed to provide support for things like housing and searching for employment, and filling out forms and helping the people find ways to learn the English language if they don’t know it already. As a practical matter, the amount of support that you provide is to a considerable degree just determined by what you agree on with the sponsoree. But the real support that they get is the right to live and work in the United States.

Speaker 2:

As probably you and perhaps some of your listeners know, we have a major waiver shortage in many place parts of the economy and mostly the migrants, the vast majority, they wanna work. They, they see the importance without opportunity. So you know, that’s how they support themselves. I would add also, and I’ve seen this misconception a number of times, there is no requirement that the people actually live in your house, or even if they live in the, you know, same community that you’re in. In the case of our Sponsoree family, they want in front of beginning to go to Florida, whereas we live in Northern Virginia because they have friends in Florida who came there earlier. And also there are a lot of job opportunities in Florida, and housing is somewhat cheaper than in Northern Virginia, where for a variety of reasons, we have very restrictive zoning that makes it hard to build new housing and response to demand. That’s actually a problem you might wanna do another podcast on. But but moving along the real way that the refugees or migrants, technically they’re not legal refugees, support themselves is by working. And that is actually the way immigrants have supported themselves throughout American history. So they get the benefit of working and thereby integrating into society. And we get, among other things, get the benefit of the work that they do, which we, very bad. We needed,

Speaker 1:

Indeed. They may have gone to Florida for the tax policy, but again, that would be a different show, so let’s not go there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I, I, I had not discussed the tax policy issue with them, but obviously Florida does not have an income tax, and that has enabled Florida to attract internal migrants from other states in the us. That may be another broadcast. I’ve also written about sort of internal voting with your feet within the United States, and tax policy certainly is a factor there.

Speaker 1:

Indeed. Okay, so let’s get to the program that was announced yesterday, because we’ve talking around it. And so it’s, it’s very, very different from uniting for Ukraine, and it comes in, in, in two phases. Again, I I find it fascinating. It sounds similar to the program you’re involved with, but it involves groups of Americans getting together and then coming up with some money. So tell our, our listeners about this new program.

Speaker 2:

Sure. So this program, which should not be confused with Uniting for Ukraine is in some ways broader than uniting for Ukraine, but in other ways, it’s narrower. Unlike uniting for Ukraine, it’s potentially available to people from all over the world. And also unlike for uniting for Ukraine migrants who get through this program do have official refugee status, which means they can say in the US permanently they have access to a few potential welfare benefits. The Uniting Free Ukraine participants don’t have and you know, they have some other more modest advantages. On the other hand, this program has significant limitations. One is that those who participate in, at least in the first phase of it they have to go through the lengthy laborious vetting process that I mentioned earlier with respect to the traditional refugee program.

Speaker 2:

And they have to fit the legal definition of a refugee as opposed to just, you know, the lay person’s definition. So they have to have evidence that they, they’ve been persecuted or have a plausible fear of persecution from one of the range of reasons that we talked about earlier. So that limits it. And obviously having to already be in the sort of state department pipeline that is a wine and laborious process. The innovation in the Welcome core program is that previously in the traditional refugee system, even after you run the gauntlet of the State Department, so to speak you would have to be resettled to enter the US by one of several officially recognized refugee resettlement agencies. But here, the process and the opportunities can be expanded by allowing resettlement with the aid of private sponsors, which here is defined as a group of five or more people who have to be American citizens or US permanent residents.

Speaker 2:

And that group has to come up with a sum of money of, I think it’s $2,275 per sponsoree. And they also have to commit to providing some other support. Though the other support is not really very precisely defined how much it would be. And as we’re uniting for Ukraine, they have to fill out some forms testifying to resources and the like. I have not yet looked at the forms for welcome course. I don’t know know fully what they entail but there already is a website for Wil Concord that the government has set up where groups of five or more can apply to be sponsors. The administration also says that later this year, in 2023, they will have a second phase of the program where, unlike in the existing phase, where the sponsors essentially sponsorees would be assigned to them from among those already in the pipeline in the second phase these, these groups of sponsors could potentially recommend people who are not already in the pipeline to get into the pipeline and be considered for refugee status. What is not clear, at least for the materials from the Biden administration I’ve seen so far, is whether that pipeline will be the same one laborious process that the current traditional refugee pipeline is, or whether it’ll be somehow different at least as we speak right now on Friday, January 20th. I do not yet know how that is gonna work. And I’m not sure the administration has made a, a final determination on that.

Speaker 1:

So I think to the ears of our listeners, that sounds potentially very appealing. I think you pointed out the ambiguity of the term refugee, both legally and sort of conceptually. Every person may have a different idea if one is a sponsor, and then one can reach out to theoretically the Ukrainian of choice and a define a refugee in their own way, where the government to allow them to do that. That seems to me to solve both your problem in a, in a sense, make refugee rescue a more personalized experience for, for people who, who want to get engaged with this

Speaker 2:

Not quite in the welcome core system, even in the second phase, I think the participants would still have to meet the international law def or the international and US law definition of refugee, as opposed to just a colloquial definition or a personal definition that a particular individual sponsor might have. What may be possible under the second phase welcome core is that you could choose the particular person or the particular family or whatnot. And it’s also possible that after that point, the vetting might not be as lengthy and cumbersome as it is under the traditional refugee system, though that remains an open question, but it will not be, probably, it will not be as swift and efficient as uniting for Ukraine is. And it would still be limited to the current legal definition of refugee. Though, as I mentioned earlier, there is the benefit for the for the refugees themselves, that if they run the gauntlet of getting in as somebody who fits the legal definition of refugee, then they get permanent status in the US as opposed to just the two years that you have under Uniting for Ukraine. And that is the rules similar expanding for Ukraine are also in place for four Latin American countries, to which the Biden administration a couple weeks ago expanded a uniting free Ukraine like system. That which now covers migrants fleeing the countries of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti. Interesting to note that in three of these countries have socialist communist regimes. So we’re talking about people fleeing you know, that sort of oppression.

Speaker 1:

Indeed, indeed. So you mentioned earlier that these groups, I think as groups of five that can sponsor refugee they raised 200 let’s say $2,275. That doesn’t seem like a lot. I mean, these are folks coming from the poorest country in Europe. That was the case before the war coming all the way to the us. And you said the commitment of those sponsors beyond the, the dollar is vague. What does the US government contribute? Is there a lump sum that they, they offer these refugees when coming all this way? There

Speaker 2:

Is not a lump sum either. And I should note that the people in Welcome Court, there aren’t, they aren’t just from Ukraine. They can be from anywhere in the world, potentially, so long as they meet the legal definition of refugee to in practice. Legal people who meet that definition overwhelmingly do come from four poor countries. There’s only a relative few who come from more wealthy ones. The, in terms of the, the US government, there’s not a specific lump sum. However they are eligible for some amount of resettlement assistance. I’m not sure exactly how much, and they are eligible for what is a kind of Medicaid like health insurance program, though once they start to work, eventually they would become affluent enough that they wouldn’t be eligible for that anymore. Just as Americans sort of work their way out of Medicaid once they reach a certain level of income. And there are a few other things like that. But the big difference welfare wise between being a refugee and being most other kinds of immigrant is you are eligible for some sort of resettlement assistance.

Speaker 1:

Now, I’m, I’m gonna put on the hat of a listener who may have a jaundice view of, of, of immigration policy and, and, and, and not be eager to, to invite people to, into the country despite the horrible conditions they may be trying to escape. If, if their, if a listener’s, number one concern is that these new arrivals will either not integrate or not be successful or you know fall into either a criminal or, or government dependent life. What does the government do to ensure their success? And do you have any, as a, as an expert in the field, any sense of what, what either sponsors or government programs can do, or which, which of these programs work well for ensuring that these potentially new Americans integrate successfully into, into their new lives?

Speaker 2:

The best way to help immigrants of almost all kinds integrate successfully into their new lives is to authorize them to work as quickly as possible, which all of the programs that we mentioned uniting for Ukraine, welcome, COR, and so on, they do do that. Data overwhelmingly show that immigrants of all kinds for which we have data have higher labor force participation rates than native-born Americans do. They also have lower violent crime rates than native born Americans do. The latter is true even for illegal immigrants coming from Latin America who are stereotypically associated with crime. But an illegal immigrant from El Salvador de like actually has a lower crime rate on average than a native born American of the same age. And, and sex obviously for both Americans. Immigrants younger people and males have somewhat higher crime rates than you know, than other groups for, for obvious reason, I don’t think we need to dwell on.

Speaker 2:

So but what enables the greatest success is wedding people work. We have the advantage. It’s not as good as it ideal we should be. We have the advantage of having a dynamic economy with all sorts of job opportunities and you know, people integrate best and also contribute to American society best if, if they can work. And the vast majority of immigrants, including those in these programs do want to do just that. There are also, obviously other things that can be done. I think private sponsors, while they, or perhaps I should say we, since I, one of them, we are not really the heroes of the story, the actual heroes or the immigrants themselves, but we can, at the margin, give people advice, help them you know, work their way through the bureaucracy. We can also make them aware of opportunities to do things like learn in English and apply for jobs and so forth. And I think that can speed up the process. I think also you know, there are other reforms that we can talk about that would improve work opportunities, not just for recent immigrants, but also for, for natives as well. But the single biggest thing both from the standpoint of common sense and from the standpoint of social science data is the opportunity to integrate into society by working.

Speaker 1:

Indeed. I think what what may animate some of our, our friends on the left and the right, both four and against immigration is I think the left certainly sees a potential political allies of new arrivals to my reckoning. Every immigrant I know works very hard and falls somewhere far to the right of me politically. So I’m not as concerned that these new arrivals will def definitely align up to the left of me politically. So but that’s a, again, a topic for another podcast. Sure. you are very engaged with this topic. We’ve talked about your, your work in your books and your work academically. What is it about immigration, immigration policy that that motivates you, draws you to this topic? Why you know, again, you sponsored a, a a refugee. What, what brings

Speaker 2:

You to, to this, this issue so passionately? I think it’s a combination of two things. One of them has to do with my life as an academic and how it developed. And I only mentioned that one briefly, is probably a much less interest to the listeners. I originally started out studying, voting with your feet within federal systems, like with any United States and other federal countries, and found that it’s a powerful fo mode of political choice that enables people to choose what governed policies they wanna live under. And also, it’s a tremendous source of opportunity and enhancement of freedom. People can move the places where there’s better opportunities. And it gradually occurred to me that, hey, international migration is similar to this. Only the potential gains are much better and much larger, because when you think about whatever you believe is the best governed American state compared to what everything is the worst, there’s probably a substantial difference.

Speaker 2:

But it’s much, much less than a difference between the US and Cuba or the, the US and the conditions facing Ukrainians and others fleeing Putin’s oppression or people fleeing the Chinese Communist Party and so forth. Those differences are stark and huge. And so you can get much greater enhancements of human freedom and wellbeing through liberalizing international migration than through any reforms with internal voting with your feet, though I have written about that as well. And that brings us to the second point which matters more for the public interest. And that is that precisely because the gains are so huge, even incremental liberalization of immigration policy that has huge benefits that can ha that are difficult or impossible to replicate through changes in any other kinds of policies. If we allow, say, 5% more people to enter to us legally than before, that’s another 50,000 or more people per year who get vastly greater freedom and opportunity they would have otherwise.

Speaker 2:

And also, there’s major gains for natives of receiving countries as well, because the immigrants productively contribute to the economy. Moreover, data show that on average they’re more likely to contribute to innovation of a scientific nature, entrepreneurial nature, and the like. So that also creates huge benefits for the receiving country and even for the whole world. For instance, immigrants are particularly prominent on average of both the US and Canada and Europe in medical and scientific advances. Many of them are responsible for vaccines. They cured deadly diseases and the like, indeed, the first successful covid vaccines were actually developed by immigrants for children of immigrants to Europe or the us from poor backwards societies. If these people or their parents had stayed where they were, either we wouldn’t have covid vaccines yet, or at the very least would’ve taken much longer to get them, many more people would’ve died.

Speaker 2:

And this is just one example. If you look at other major medical advances of the last century, immigrants United States are behind a very substantial proportion of them. And if you look at other scientific fields you know, the same thing is true. It’s also the case. If you look at just purely entrepreneurial innovation immigrants on average are more likely to start businesses and make other innovations of that kind. Obviously, many of these businesses fail, just like many businesses founded by native-born people fail as well. But among those that succeed or sell the most important and successful parts of the American economy famous examples include people like Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland, Sergey Brynn, the founder of Google an immigrant from Russia like me, but obviously a much more successful one than me. Andrew, how

Speaker 1:

About how, how about Albert Einstein

Speaker 2:

<Laugh> Albert Einstein? Yes though it’s complicated in his case, because much of the work he, for which he’s most famous, he did before he came to the us. So that was an interesting, because he came to us in a much later you know, point in his life. However, I think we can be glad that after he did come, he was contributing to science in the US rather than in Nazi Germany. Though, given that he was Jewish, probably the Nazis would stupidly not have been willing to avail themselves of his services anyway.

Speaker 1:

Indeed. Alright, well, I think our our, our listeners are energized. Hopefully they’ve been persuaded by the, the value and merit of, of, of having a, a little more liberalized immigration policy. Where can our listeners learn first more about welcome core? Is there, you mentioned a website. Do, do you have that?

Speaker 2:

So I don’t have the link memorized. However, I wrote a blog post yesterday about welcome Core, and that blog post includes a link to the welcome core website where potential sponsors can sign up uniting for Ukraine. There are also ways to sign up to participate in that. The best one is the welcome.us website where you can essentially create a profile as a potential sponsor, and Ukrainians seeking sponsors can then contact you. This is actually how I found our Sponsoree family and welcome.us is setting up a similar portal for the four Latin American countries that I mentioned earlier, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti. And, you know, that is available as well. And then once you have, once you are paired up with a potential sponsoree, if in that program you can just fill out form I 1 34, which I mentioned earlier, which can be found at the US C I s website, you can just Google form I 1 34 A and you get the site where you know, where you can sign up,

Speaker 1:

Which of course now begs the question one run outta time. Where can our, our listeners find your wonderful thought pieces, essays you’re writing?

Speaker 2:

Sure. So I have a website that you can find just by googling my name, Ilia Salman. In addition, I wrote a piece about uniting for Ukraine in the Washington Post just about a couple weeks ago. That piece is also available without a paywall at the Cato Institute website. They reprinted it with permission and without a paywall. I also blog regularly at the vo conspiracy website at Regan Magazine, reason Magazine. Vole has spelled V O L O K and you can probably find a lot of my writings about the Ukraine refugee crisis and related matters just by googling my name in Ukraine.

Speaker 1:

Wonderful. Well, we’re going out of time, and we’ve got a lot of information for our listeners. I really appreciate you joining me again on the podcast. Elliot, you’ve been a a great guest. I, I appreciate your time.

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much for having me. I’ll also mention, in the spirit of shame with self-promotion, <laugh> actually have an entire book about immigration issues and really voting with your feed issues, including domestic ones called Freedom Move Foot Voting, migration, and Political Freedom. It’s available at fine Amazon outlets near you and other online websites. You can even buy it directly from the Oxford University Press website. And half of all the royalties generated by this book they go to causes supporting refugees.

Speaker 1:

Wonderful. Well, that’s good. It’s not a shameless plug. We’ve, we’ve done earlier podcasts on the book. It’s an excellent book. I recommend it. So again, thank you for your, your writing, for your work, work, and for your time.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for having me, and great questions.

Speaker 1:

This has been another episode of Hub Wonk. If you enjoyed today’s show, there are several ways to support Hub Wonk and Pioneer Institute. It would be easier for you and better for us if you subscribe to Hub Wonk on your iTunes podcatcher. If you’d like to make it easier for others to find Hub Wonk, we would be very grateful if you offer a five star rating or a favorable review. We’re always grateful. If you want to share Hub Wonk with friends, if you have ideas or comments or suggestions for me about Future Hub Wonk episodes, you’re welcome to email me at hub wonk pioneer institute.org. Please join me next week for a new episode of Hub Wonk.

Recent Episodes

Pioneer Institute Launches Its New Policy Podcast, “HubWonk”

Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce the launch today of a new, weekly podcast called “HubWonk,” covering timely topics, with insights and in-depth interviews on the issues that affect our quality of life, ability to prosper, and liberties.