You may be able to add a firewire card to your computer:
A USB to Firewire adapter or cable won't work.
Also, Hi8 is not a digital format. Like VHS and 8mm, it's an analog format -- so you'll need to digitize it in order to get it into your computer.
On my web site, Muvipix, and in my books, we recommend that you capture analog video with the Grass Valley ADVC.
Other, cheaper digitizers might work, and they might even work over USB. But the ADVC over a FireWire connection will give you the best, most editable video.
Thanks for that Steve. Firewire is not an option for me because my laptop doesn't have one. So if I bought one of these digitizers from Grass Valley, is there a signal that can be recognized by premiere and input using a usb?
No. The Grass Valley unit is designed for FireWire capture, which is why the video is so high quality.
This device will capture your Hi8 as a DVD quality file, which should still be editable in Premiere Elements. Though it also comes with a video editor, so you may even find it works best for capturing and editing your video.