Summary: President Trump is supporting a proposal to put immigration on a point system, favoring those with education over those with family already in the country.
President Donald Trump is showing support over a proposal that will cut legal Immigration in half within the next ten years. The proposal aims to do this by limiting the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring their family members to the country.
Should the plan move forward, it would have the greatest changes to the legal immigration system in years and would be the president’s next effort to affect the Number of newcomers to the United States. Trump has tried several times to curb immigration with the travel ban, limit the number of refugees, increase immigration arrests and build support for a wall to be erected along the Mexican border.
Trump’s efforts to get Congress to control legal immigration has stepped up the debates regarding the issues of national identity, worker fairness, economic growth, and American values that Trump introduced during his campaign.
Critics of Trump and his immigration plans say the change would go against the fundamentals of the United States as a place of refuge. The President counters that America has allowed too many low-skilled immigrants to enter the country and harm American workers.
At a White House event, Trump said, “This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee said, “Instead of catching criminals, Trump wants to tear apart communities and punish immigrant families that are making valuable contributions to our economy. That’s not what America stands for.”
Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue sponsored the bill. They propose a merit-based system to regulate who is allowed into the country and receives a legal residency green card. Those applicants with education, skills, and language abilities will receive favorable chances over those that already have family in the states. President George W. Bush first introduced these immigration changes but gave up on the ideas in 2007.
Over one million people receive legal residency each year. The proposal would cut this number by 41 percent the first year and 50 percent by the 10th year. The biggest cuts would be to those with family ties whereas those granted residency based on job skills would remain about the same. Most immigrants are admitted to America because of their family connections. This includes American citizens sponsoring spouses, parents, and minor children for an unrestricted number of visas and a limited number going out to siblings and adult children. Legal permanent green card holding residents are also able to sponsor spouses and children.
About 15 percent of immigrants are admitted for employment-based reasons. The proposed plan would cut the number of permanent resident refugee spots down to 50,000 each year. Cotton and Perdue said their plan emulates current systems in Australia and Canada. Perdue said, “Our current system does not work. It keeps America from being competitive and it does not meet the needs of our economy today.”
Cotton added that low-skilled immigrants lower the wages of Americans that work with their hands. He said, “For some people, they may think that’s a symbol of America’s virtue and generosity. I think it’s a symbol that we’re not committed to working-class Americans, and we need to change that.”
Other items on Trumps’ agenda to tackle during his presidency are the tax code, health care, and the country’s road and airport infrastructure needs.
What would you like to see President Trump focus on? Tell us in the comments below.
To learn more about immigration issues, read these articles:
- Immigration Groups Allege U.S. Border Patrol and Customs Illegally Turns Away Latino Asylum Seekers
- Backlog of Immigration Court Cases Hits Record High
- Supreme Court Denies Obama Immigration Request