Skip to Main Content
Watch Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Energy

Immigration Laws in Louisville

Immigration Laws in Louisville

Attorney Nima Kulkarni practices immigration law in Louisville. She discusses the battle between President Obama and Congress over a comprehensive immigration plan for the nation.
Season 10 Episode 24 Length 28:17 Premiere: 05/09/15

Immigration Attorney Nima Kulkarni Makes Case for Reform

For Nima Kulkarni, a Louisville, Kentucky, attorney who focuses on immigration and nationality law, the argument for comprehensive immigration reform is an economic one, not a humanitarian one.

“I think one of the key issues with our immigration system is the fact that it’s never actually been tied to any of our economic policy goals or objectives,” she said.

As a guest on KET’s “One to One with Bill Goodman,” Kulkarni discussed the latest immigration policy for students and businesses, and President Barack Obama’s November 2014 executive order on immigration.

Kulkarni feels like the United States’ current immigration system does not have a common sense approach and focuses more on politically charged issues rather than on facilitating economic growth and global competitiveness.

“And it never really needed to because we were always able to attract the best and the brightest in the world. We were a beacon of democracy and freedom and opportunity, but this day and age is completely different from when those policies were enacted, and we’re still using those out-dated policies. The issue that we’re running up against now is in modern times, how do we tailor our immigration policy to our economic needs so our country can grow.”

The immigration system itself, according to Kulkarmi, with its restrictive nature and hoops, is one of the biggest problems, particularly the H-1B program, which attracts primarily STEM workers and allows employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. However, visas through this program, which requires applicants to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, are assigned through a lottery. If an applicant isn’t chosen through the lottery, they may have to leave the country.

“So they take their education and they take that training and they have to leave. They can either go back to their home country or, as is happening more recently, they will go to countries that are more welcoming. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore – these countries have always been very aggressive in their immigration policies in trying to to attract the best and the brightest,” she said.

Kulkarni said the discussion on immigration should be focused on the United States’ need for skilled, high-tech workers in order to be competitive globally, but instead the conversation is dominated by securing the country’s southern border with Mexico. Of the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the country, Kulkarni says, a little over one half are from Mexico, and the other half are from regions all over the world.

Regarding President Obama’s controversial executive order on immigration issued in November 2014, which is currently being challenged in federal court by 26 states, Kulkarni says that the president’s actions are “extremely conservative” compared to other amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1952, including an amnesty measure in 1986.

“These actions don’t really change any of those laws,” she said. “They are just saying, ‘Here’s a new policy interpretation of an already existing procedure.”

Among the many factors Kulkarni points to involving a reformed immigration policy, sustaining the United States’ work force population is also a crucial component.

“The major driver of our population growth – certainly over the last decade or so – has been immigration,” she said. “So when you think about the fact that the labor force is only growing because of immigration, and you’ve got an aging population and our birth rates are not catching up to our death rates, you really have to look at this as a really rational approach, because you will end up, for instance, like japan, with their very, very restrictive immigration policies. And then it’s harder to dig yourself out.”

Sponsored by:

You give every Kentuckian the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through KET.

Three women standing together in white dresses with arms crossed over their chestsThree women standing together in white dresses with arms crossed over their chests

TV Schedules


No upcoming airdates


No recent airdates

Season 10 Episodes

Jeff Smith and Jonathan Miller

S10 E53 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12/27/15

Economic Boom for Kentucky Bourbon

S10 E52 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 12/20/15

Steve Beshear Reflects on Service

S10 E51 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 12/13/15

Dr. R. Albert Mohler

S10 E50 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 11/22/15

Governor-elect Matt Bevin

S10 E49 Length 29:03 Premiere Date 11/15/15

Kentucky Life Host Doug Flynn

S10 E48 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 11/08/15

Al Cross on the 2015 Election

S10 E47 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 11/01/15

Trey Grayson

S10 E46 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10/11/15

Tony Kemper of the de Paul School

S10 E45 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 10/04/15

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth

S10 E44 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 09/27/15

David Gregory on His Journey of Faith

S10 E43 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/20/15

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie

S10 E42 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/13/15

Sen. Mitch McConnell

S10 E41 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 09/05/15

Education Chief Reflects on Service

S10 E39 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 08/23/15

Making the Case for Higher Academic Standards

S10 E38 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 08/15/15

Emily Bingham Discusses Aunt's Biography

S10 E36 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 08/01/15

Personalized Cancer Treatment

S10 E35 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 07/25/15

Stu Silberman and Brigitte Blom Ramsey

S10 E34 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 07/18/15

Coding - Part 2

S10 E33 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/11/15

Scott Terrell on the Lexington Philharmonic

S10 E30 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 06/20/15

Jane Chu and Lori Meadows Discuss Kentucky Arts

S10 E29 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 06/13/15

Giving Voice to Kentucky Women

S10 E28 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/06/15

The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

S10 E26 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/23/15

Al Cross Discusses May 2015 Primary

S10 E25 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 05/16/15

Immigration Laws in Louisville

S10 E24 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 05/09/15

Cameron Ludwick and Blair Hess

S10 E23 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/02/15

Len Peters Discusses the EPA

S10 E22 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 04/25/15

Kim Baker Discusses the Arts

S10 E21 Length 28:56 Premiere Date 04/18/15

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Alison Davis

S10 E20 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 04/11/15

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz

S10 E19 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/04/15

Dr. Mark Evers

S10 E18 Length 27:11 Premiere Date 03/28/15

Teddy Abrams

S10 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 03/21/15

Dr. Robert Davies

S10 E16 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/22/15

Brad Jones: Black Walls Turn Gray

S10 E15 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 02/15/15

SOAR Executive Director Jared Arnett

S10 E14 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 02/08/15

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto

S10 E13 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 02/01/15

Rep. Andy Barr: One to One from Washington

S10 E12 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 02/04/15

Rep. Thomas Massie: One to One from Washington

S10 E11 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 02/03/15

Rep. John Yarmuth: One to One from Washington

S10 E10 Length 27:41 Premiere Date 02/02/15

Rep. Brett Guthrie: One to One from Washington

S10 E9 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 01/30/15

Rep. Ed Whitfield: One to One from Washington

S10 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/29/15

Rep. Hal Rogers: One to One from Washington

S10 E7 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/28/15

Sen. Rand Paul: One to One from Washington

S10 E6 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 01/27/15

Sen. Mitch McConnell: One to One from Washington

S10 E5 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/26/15

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

S10 E4 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 01/06/15

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers

S10 E3 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/18/15

Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo

S10 E2 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 01/11/15

Gov. Steve Beshear

S10 E1 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 12/26/14

Explore KET