Trump Unveils His Plan for a Very Different Immigration System
President Donald Trump made good on a longstanding campaign promise Thursday, announcing a plan to completely overhaul the United States immigration system.
According to the Trump Administration, the plan is designed to bring highly skilled and educated individuals to the U.S., “prioritizing merit over chance” to springboard America forward in the “global race for talent.”
“It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country,” Trump said.
The president has often claimed that the current U.S. immigration system does far more for those immigrating than it does for the U.S. economically, and his new plan addresses many of those claims — primarily by creating a two-pronged solution, which Trump suggests will “protect American wages” and provide America with a better deal on immigration.
Provided atop the proposal are Trump’s six primary goals for the new immigration system:
- Fully Secure the border
- Protect American wages
- Attract and retain the best and brightest talent
- Prioritize immediate families
- Strengthen our workforce
- Preserve our humanitarian values
To meet these goals, the administration proposed what is being referred to as the “Build America Visa.”
Unlike the current system — which the White House says issues 70 percent of visas to distant family members of those who previously immigrated or by lottery — the new system would operate on a “point-based” matrix.
All applicants would be scored based on whether they showcase “extraordinary talent,” “professional and specialized vocations” and “exceptional academic track records.”
The White House also says the proposal “promotes our common language and strengthens our national unity.”
According to the White House, this would enhance U.S. capability to compete with growing nations like Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan by dramatically altering the way our current visa system weighs “employment & skill,” “family” and “humanitarian, diversity lottery, & other” factors.
Currently, figures suggest the U.S. weighs “family” at 66 percent and “employment & skill” at just 12 percent, stalling U.S. economic competition with the aforementioned nations — all of whom place more than 50 percent weight on “employment & skill.”
“President Trump’s proposal will move America to a more competitive and fair position of 57 percent employment and skill, 33 percent family, and 10 percent humanitarian,” the proposal reads.
And the president’s overhaul plan did not sacrifice anything in the way of increased border security measures, either.
In fact, Trump’s proposal also argues that these measures for streamlining the U.S. immigration system cannot be undertaken without fully “securing the border first.”
“Full border security is the bedrock of a functioning immigration system and it must come first,” the proposal reads.
The plan would create a sizable, “renewable” border security fund that would provide for not only for Trump’s proposed 400-mile border wall but also for enhanced screening technologies the president’s Democratic opponents have recently suggested would serve as a better solution than a physical barrier.
According to the proposal, the fund would “ensure 100 percent inspection of people and good at ports of entry,” “stop drugs, contraband, and counterfeit goods” and “facilitate faster trade.”
There will also be changes to the asylum system, another system the Trump has often sharply criticized for containing “loopholes,” which he suggests allow for it to be misused and taken advantage of by human traffickers and criminals.
“The President’s proposal will restore integrity to our broken asylum system and close legal loopholes to address the driving forces behind the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.” the White House writes, “The proposal will strengthen our asylum system and expedite the review process for immigrants seeking asylum.”
“The President’s proposal will change the law to stop the flood of child smuggling and to rapidly reunite unaccompanied children with their families back home,” The White House wrote.
Trump addressed the new plan Thursday on Twitter, saying that he believes the new proposal has something for legislators on both sides of the aisle and should one that all can get behind.
The Democrats now realize that there is a National Emergency at the Border and that, if we work together, it can be immediately fixed. We need Democrat votes and all will be well!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
Will the Democrats give our Country a badly needed immigration win before the election? Good chance!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
“Will the Democrats give our Country a badly needed immigration win before the election?” Trump wrote. “Good chance!”
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