Daniel Di Martino was born in 1999 in Venezuela to a middle class family. His grandparents escaped poverty and oppression in Italy and Spain in the 1950s, seeking a better future in the then 4th richest country in the world, Venezuela. Italy was destroyed by fascism and World War II and Spain by the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. Yet, despite not having a high school education and some having to learn a new language, his family prospered under Venezuela’s relatively free market and strong democracy in the second half of the 20th century. But Daniel saw how socialism transformed the once prosperous nation that welcomed his grandparents into a poor and dangerous place. His family’s income was drastically reduced due to inflation and he was forced to line up for food and basic necessities for hours due to the socialist policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.
In 2016, he left Venezuela to go to college at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis thanks to a full-tuition scholarship that is given to only one international student per year. At IUPUI, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with honors and the highest distinction in Quantitative Economics in December 2019. Daniel’s experience in Venezuela taught him that any country, no matter how rich or democratic can fall into the trap of “democratic” socialism and gradually lose all its prosperity. In America, he saw the rise of socialism on college campuses and became a major advocate for free markets using his story to educate Americans, especially those in his generation, about why more freedom, not socialism, is the way to make America even greater than it already is.
Daniel is currently a Young Voices contributor, a Bienvenido Outreach Council member, a Newsmax insider, a speaker of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and a PhD in Economics candidate at Columbia University.
Daniel has been on national TV dozens of times, being interviewed in Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, Fox 5DC, i24 English, and many other TV channels and radio stations. You can watch and listen to his interviews here.
He regularly writes op-eds and articles for outlets such as the USA Today, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, The Daily Wire, and many more. You can read them here.
Daniel is also a sought-after public speaker who lays out the problems of socialism using his story and first-hand knowledge to connect with diverse audiences. He has spoken at events and conferences of organizations like CPAC, Moms for America, the State Financial Officers Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and universities such as Ball State University and the University of Kentucky. You can watch those here.
In recent memory, Democrats have been considered the pro-immigration party in the United States. In California, the Republican's shameful trumpeting of Proposition 187, which scapegoated undocumented immigrants, has turned the state solid Blue after alienating an otherwise moderate Hispanic population. Yet both parties have been guilty of using the issue of immigration as a political football to score points and claim the moral high ground against the other – all while the very real humanitarian crisis at the border has gotten worse and worse.
I have frequently lamented the terrible treatment by Republicans of immigrants, in whom conservatives and libertarians should see a natural ally. Immigrants are the ultimate entrepreneurs – risking it all for a better life. They commit less crime than native populations. And above all, they work hard.
Daniel Di Martino – a young economist and Young Voices contributor originally from Venezuela –has made a forceful case for the GOP to become a pro-immigration party. While he was fortunate enough to obtain a scholarship that allowed him to come study in the United States in 2016, most Venezuelans have had nowhere to go. Di Martino notes how the Biden Administration's bumbling bureaucracy has slowed the processing of visa applications to below even Trump era levels. He joins me this Sunday to offer an alternative to the partisan bickering that has done nothing to alleviate the plight of immigrants.
Can a more immigrant-friendly GOP break the Democratic monopoly on the immigrant vote, and turn the tide of socialism? Find out this Sunday – on the show of ideas, not attitude.
The Conservative Alternative to the Biden Immigration Disaster
Amid surging illegal immigration along the border with Mexico, several Republican Governors are boasting about sending the national guard to the border as part of their plan to end the crisis. In turn, Democratic activists are harassing United States senators to pass amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.
Why America has an illegal immigration problem:
It's too hard to come legally.
Allowing everyone in is unpractical - would allow criminals and create human rights crisis. Democrats are arguing for amnesty for all. Republicans are calling for the National Guard.
Deporting everyone is too expensive.
The answer can be found in a 2020 peer-reviewed study concluding that increasing the number of available temporary work visas to immigrants reduces illegal immigration to a greater extent than the increase in legal immigrants. This is a no-brainer; legal temporary immigrants are all vetted, pay taxes in full, and are allowed to leave and return rather than stay in America for fear of not being able to come back like unauthorized immigrants do.
Wait times for high skilled workers are over 100 years.
Congress can fix this by requiring United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to cut non-security related red tape and establishing maximum processing times and increasing the number of green cards available for skills-based migration.
Current GOP proposals:
...the CHILDREN Act would allow the children of high skilled legal immigrants who grew up in America and graduated college to obtain permanent residence. You’d think this was the law already, but these legal immigrant teens are now forced to self-deport. Salazar’s DIGNITY proposal, a framework for conservative immigration reform, including border security, a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants who abide by the law, pay taxes, and maintain good conduct, and modernizing work visa programs.
U.S. Stops Reopening Consulates: 60% Still Partially Closed
The State Department remains a major barrier to reopening the United States to legal travel and immigration. As of mid‐October , 60 percent of consulates remained fully or partially closed to anything other than emergency nonimmigrant visa appointments, and 40 percent are completely closed to non‐emergency nonimmigrant visa appointments, according to the State Department's website.
What kind of red tape is preventing legal immigration?
Figure 1 shows the torturously slow progress of the Biden administration in getting the consulates back to normal. In April, 76 percent of consulates were partially closed. Now, 60 percent are partly closed, but there’s been just a 2‐percentage point improvement since August. In April, 59 percent were fully closed. Now, 40 percent are fully closed.
Wait times have grown from 95 days in April to 192 days in August for business and tourist traveler visas.
Amnesty International says Curacao denying protection to Venezuelan immigrants
The human rights group Venezuelan immigrants have been denied international protection by Curaçaoan and Dutch authorities. The group states they have documented at least 22 cases where human rights violations have occurred against Venezuelan immigrants including denial of their right to seek asylum.
How bad is Venezuela?
The group estimates there are 17,000 Venezuelans in Curacao with irregular migratory status as 5.7 million Venezuelans have fled their country due to food shortages and hyperinflation under socialist President Nicolás Maduro.
'Documented Dreamers' ask Congress to end self-deportation, family separation
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- They grow up in America as de facto Americans, then suddenly face the prospect of self-deportation and family separation. An estimated 200,000 young immigrants living legally in the U.S. for years as dependents of their parents on temporary work visas are aging out of the program into a precarious legal limbo, according to immigrant advocates.
An estimated 200,000 young immigrants living legally in the U.S. for years as dependents of their parents on temporary work visas are aging out of the program into a precarious legal limbo, according to immigrant advocates.
Forces 21 year olds to go back to their parent's country of origin, where they sometimes spent just a few months as an infant, don't speak the language, or fit into the culture.
Biden on track to beat Trump's record for fewest resettled refugees
The Biden administration is on track to resettle the lowest number of refugees in the history of the program despite big promises it would revamp a system decimated under former President Trump Donald Trump Trump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE .
Is it cruelty, or incompetence preventing the resettling of migrants?
The administration had resettled 7,637 refugees by the end of August — a figure experts say makes it near impossible to reach the 11,814 low point under the Trump administration by the close of the fiscal year that ended Friday.
Don't Lock Out China's Victims - The Bulwark
Less than one year ago, amid the Chinese Communist Party crackdown on Hong Kong freedom activists, former President Trump rightfully moved to impose sanctions on the CCP and ended preferential trade relations that benefitted the Chinese regime. But in the process, we stopped treating Hong Kong as a separate country for immigration purposes.
South American is not the only place producing refugees who desire to come to the U.S.
Unintended consequence of Trump's trade war on China was to reduce visas granted to Hong Kong residents.
Are Hong Kong activists more American than America?
The unintended consequence was that there are fewer visas and green cards available for the same activists that waved the American flag and sang the U.S. national anthem as they defended their city from the Chinese Communist Party.
Allowing more immigration from these countries will erode support for socialism – not increase it as some critics of immigration suggest:
It is in U.S. national interests to remind young Americans of the terrible consequences of socialism, and the best way to achieve that is to admit immigrants who lived under socialism and can tell Americans what it’s really like.
Proposes a "Victims of Communism Visa":
This would be different from asylum since asylees are required to show they were personally persecuted, and unfortunately, merely living in a country without freedom isn’t enough to meet that standard.
Research from George Borjas shows that: "immigrants from more repressive countries tend to assimilate faster in the United States than others."
Venezuelans are proof that immigrants aren't GOP's enemies | Commentary
But what if I told you that the fastest-growing immigrant group in America is bucking that narrative? Would you be able to guess which country they come from? The answer - by a large margin - is my home country, Venezuela.
Current conservative concerns:
Many on the right are raising old concerns about immigration once again — concerns that this bill will mean in “open borders,” that amnesty will result in millions of new Democrat voters and that legal and illegal immigrants alike will take away jobs from Americans, be a burden on taxpayers and fundamentally disrupt American culture.
Venezuelans are one of the fastest-assimilating, prosperous groups of immigrants in the US. They are highly educated, collect welfare at lower rates, and more culturally conservative than Americans.
Venezuelan-Americans seem to have voted for Trump by a 2-1 margin in November and the most Venezuelan precinct in the country swung towards the GOP by a record 44 points.
Guest opinion: The key to lifting up blue-collar America is immigration
President Joe Biden has pledged to pursue immigration reform as his first major legislative initiative. Biden proposes to undo Trump's immigration bans, increase legal immigration based on skills, family ties, refugees and diversity as well as provide a pathway to citizenship to all noncriminal illegal immigrants in the United States.
Criticizes both Trump and Biden for embodying opposite extremes:
Trump administration officials argued that reducing immigration would free up jobs for American citizens. But the economic reality is that these bans do nothing to protect American jobs and everything to keep more lower-class Americans unemployed.
H-1Bs have been shown to enhance opportunities for Americans, because they increase innovation and productivity, creating more jobs and opportunities for natives and immigrants alike.
One positive from Biden, although he appears to be behind on processing applications:
President Biden promises to increase the number of permanent visas available to highly skilled immigrants and investors which are now a mere 140,000 per year out of 1 million total issued. His proposal while it doesn’t end the limits altogether would exempt the spouses and children of these workers from being counted against the numerical cap, effectively doubling the number of skills-based green cards. Additionally, his proposal would “recapture” green cards not issued in past years, which could add hundreds of thousands of additional green cards to highly skilled immigrant workers who’ve been waiting for over a decade.
Turns students into job-creators:
DHS should reform regulations to allow international students to run their own businesses part time while they go to school. All of this would give international students the chance to be entrepreneurs, hire American workers, transition onto a green card and finally become U.S. citizens. What’s more American than that?
Di Martino will likely only have 1 year after graduating to stay in the U.S., unless he gets a greencard or visa.
The American Dream:
We hear a lot of talk from the right these days about “putting America first.” But that means implementing policies that raise wages and create jobs for every American, especially those who have been left behind by our degree-obsessed workforce. Allowing hardworking people to come to America’s golden shores and pursue their own dreams is crucial to the success of our nation. And in the meantime, we’ll revive the American Dream for those who have been forgotten for far too long.
Merit-Based Legal Immigration is Reform We Can All Get Behind
President Trump promised to pursue merit-based immigration reform. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. Earlier this month, the State Department finished taking applications for what's called the " Diversity Visa Lottery " as required by law, a program through which every year 50,000 immigrants are randomly selected from all over the world.
Di Martino is more of a pragmatist than Bob Zadek, calling for merit-based immigration reform.
A sensible proposal that a future Biden administration should consider is to turn the Diversity Visa Lottery into a merit-based program. Such a system would assign points to applicants based on their education, job experience, English-speaking ability, and age. It would be similar to the very successful merit-based immigration programs that Canada and Australia currently use.
This is preferable to a "diversity-based" system of quotes, which arbitrarily discriminates based on number of immigrants coming from each country.
Di Martino proposes this as a way to cut into the backlog of visa applications.
Americans don’t judge each other based on where they come from but based on their achievements and character. By making sure the immigration system admits immigrants based on their abilities and not their country of birth, we can move closer to America’s ideal and benefit all Americans in the process.
Videos & Podcasts
S1E4 Daniel Di Martino on immigration, socialism and messaging to Latinos
How can the right appeal to immigrants? What policies need to be revamped to include the immigrant population?Watch as host Stephen Kent, co-host Shoshana We...
Venezuelans who flee their country are attracted to law and order.
There are dangers of the "law and order" of Trump-era policies.
"Heartland Visa" would give states authority to hand-out a certain number of visas.
Di Martino suggests that churches and communities could also be delegated the responsibility to determine who is eligible to come.
Republicans assume that Democrats are importing voters. This talking point reinforces the idea among immigrants that they SHOULD vote democrat, because Republicans position themselves as their natural enemies.
You have to provide a path to work here for 1 year before going home.
Host asks, "doesn't this undermine the assimilation idea?"
Daniel Di Martino: How Socialism Destroyed My Home in Venezuela and What the Right Gets Wrong on Immigration by Breaking Boundaries with Brad Polumbo
Venezuelan expatriate turned free-market economist Daniel Di Martino joins the show to explain how socialism ruined his home country and forever altered his life trajectory. He explains how widespread nationalization of private industry, massive government spending, and money-printing led to runaway inflation that destroyed the economy. Could this really ever happen in America?
Di Martino talks about the fear of being kidnapped as a child living in Venezuela, the extent of hyperinflation.
Exposes the cheating and depravities of socialism - things going really south under Maduro.
The cap on skilled guest workers is arbitrarily and extremely low in the U.S. - Canada admits more than the U.S. TOTAL, despite their much lower population.
Congress can easily eliminate this cap.
The Bullpen: The ISSUES With Immigration Systems
Daniel Di Martino, an economics PhD student at Columbia University, enters The Bullpen to discuss the differences and similarities between Trump's and Biden'...
MFwYV 6 - 8-2021 With Daniel Di Martino by Fed by Ravens Media
Steve Cortes' support for an "lega immigration moratorium". This would hurt Americans, and skyrocket illegal immigration.