Immigration policy and criteria are good at spotting talented and qualified people. A merit-based immigration system favors nurses, accountants, engineers, and people with prescriptive degrees and qualifications. These types of immigration profiles are suitable for growing societies, and they tend to add value or fill a gap very quickly. The problem is that nurses and accountants tend to be risk-averse and probably won’t start a company or create the next Yahoo, Apple, or Uber.
Geniuses are a different profile and much more difficult to spot and screen. Geniuses are unpredictable and hard to put in a box. They can also see the future and see around corners. They are the wildcards who start companies that end up employing thousands of doctors and accountants.
A healthy immigration system attracts talented, hardworking people; as well as wild card geniuses who enter the country as refugees, students, farmworker’s families, and green card lotteries.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple’s 1997 Think Different campaign