President Donald Trump announced on Thursday a new proposal that would substantially change the nation’s system of legal immigration, turning it into one more focused on merit and skills over familial connections in America.
But before the details could even be officially unveiled, Democrats were already attacking the president and his plan.
Trump’s plan, which largely deals with legal immigration, would place an emphasis on welcoming legal migrants with in-demand job skills, prior education and training, and the capability to sustain themselves without assistance from taxpayers, Fox News reported.
The plan would involve the use of a point system based on certain requirements.
“Currently, only about 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections inside the U.S.,” Fox reported.
The plan’s goal is to flip those numbers closer to 60-30 in favor of merit and skill over mere familial relations — also known as “chain migration” — as the primary reason for acceptance.
As noted, Democrats wasted no time in assailing the plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, for instance, ludicrously slammed the very idea of “merit” being a factor as “condescending.”
However, she failed to offer up much in the way of explaining why.
“We have to, I believe, come to comprehensive immigration reform. I think the president knows that,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, according to The Hill.
“I know that on the Republican side of the aisle there is a recognition that we have to have comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi said, “but that we have to do it in a way that secures our border, has a path to citizenship, respects the value of family to us, that has certain principles that we would agree to,” the speaker said.
Pelosi said her caucus would “welcome” a briefing from the White House on the plan and a discussion of the details, then launched an attack on the as-yet-unseen proposal.
“I want to just say something about the word that they use, ‘merit.’ It is really a condescending word,” she said.
“Are they saying family is without merit? Are they saying most of the people who’ve ever come to the United States in the history of our country, are without merit, because they don’t have an engineering degree?” Pelosi asked rhetorically.
“Certainly we want to attract the best to our country, and that includes many people from many parts of society,” she added, before mangling a quote from former President Ronald Reagan about how newcomers to America help the nation retain its “preeminent” status in the world.
“Every president has recognized that since Ronald Reagan, except this president,” Pelosi said. “So we’ll see what values are reflected there. We’ve only heard titles like ‘merit,’ which is non-merit. It means merit in the eyes of Donald Trump.”
While Webster’s Dictionary offers up several definitions of the word “merit,” the most applicable would be: “a praiseworthy quality” or virtue, as well as “character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem.”
Obviously, there is nothing “condescending” about recognizing that some individuals possess certain skills and qualities that make them valuable and virtuous, and determining which individuals should be rewarded over others who lack what they have.
Aside from her remarks being nearly incomprehensible, the “condescending” part of all this is Pelosi’s utter dismissal of the desire of a majority of the American people for — to borrow one of the left’s favorite phrases — “common sense” immigration reforms.
These are reforms that focus on welcoming in more of those who will take care of themselves and benefit society, rather than continuing to accept more individuals with little or nothing of substance to offer who are often a financial drag on taxpayers.
It’s worth noting that the proposal put forward by the White House is not legislation in and of itself.
Rather, it’s more of an outline of what the president would like to see happen, and it’s meant to help start a conversation with Congress about actually codifying those ideas and others into legislation that Trump would be comfortable signing into law.
Whether Democrats will work with the White House and their Republican colleagues to do the thing they constantly yell about needing to do — modernize and reform immigration laws — remains to be seen.
Judging by Pelosi’s “condescending” dismissal, however, a potential compromise that could actually become law still seems rather far off.
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