Notes for Daniel Martino

GOP proposals include bills sponsored by Rand Paul and others, to allow more high-skilled workers into the country.
There is a natural fit between conservatives/libertarians and immigrants. However, the GOP has been set on alienated the undocumented, and thus a majority of immigrant and Hispanic populations.
Daniel's proposals include allowing special visas for victims of communism, allowing students on visas to set up businesses, and generally allow more high skilled workers and guest workers. He does not believe in open borders, however.


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.


October 8, 2021, by Daniel Di Martino

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 solution:

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.
By David J. Bier, October 15, 2021

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.
By Lexi Lonas, October 12, 2021

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.
By Devin Dwyer and Jason Kuang, October 6, 2021
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.

By Rebecca Beitsch, October 3, 2021

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.
June 3, 2021

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."

March 9, 2021

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.
February 16, 2021, by Daniel Di Martino

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.
December 9, 2020

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

Right Now with Stephen Kent, March 18, 2021

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?"

Breaking Boundaries with Brad Polumbo, December 5, 2020

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.

Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey, October 11, 2021
June 8, 2021