Democrats outraged by move that will require migrants to have work skills
President Trump unveiled his long-awaited immigration overhaul on Thursday that would dramatically alter how the U.S. accepts people into the country.
The move aims to upend the system and would favor admissions based on merit rather than family ties and will reject those who don’t meet the requirements.
“If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world,” Trump said from the Rose Garden.
The proposal is similar to immigration policies in other countries, such as Australia, and would judge immigrants with a points-based system that would favor high-skilled workers.
Also taken into account would be the applicant’s age, English proficiency, education and whether they have a well-paying job offer.
According to Fox News, only about 12 percent of immigrants are currently admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections inside the U.S.
Administration officials estimate that those numbers would flip to 57 and 33 percent, respectively, under the Trump plan.
“Currently 66 percent of legal immigrants come here based on random chance, they’re admitted solely because they have a relative in the United States, and it doesn’t really matter who that relative is,” Trump said.
He said the plan would help recruit “top talent.”
“We discriminate against genius,” Trump said of current policies.
“We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed.”
“You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net,” Trump said during a Thursday Rose Garden press conference.
“Priority will also be given to higher wage workers, ensuring we never undercut American labor,” he added.
“To protect benefits from American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient.
“Finally, to promote integration, assimilation and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission.”
According to the president, the plan would also streamline asylum claims at the southern border.
“Legitimate asylum-seekers are being replaced by those lodging frivolous claims — these are frivolous claims to gain admission into our country,” he said.
“If you have a proper claim, you will quickly be admitted. If you don’t, you will promptly be returned home.”
We are here on this beautiful spring day to unveil our plan to create a fair, modern & LAWFUL system of immigration for the U.S. If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our Nation and the envy of the modern world. https://t.co/YqyTYgTByD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2019
“If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world,” Trump said.
“Our proposal builds upon our nation’s rich history of immigration while strengthening the bonds of citizenship that bind us together as a national family.”
“Today the president has unveiled an immigration plan that makes no mention of DACA, a program Trump unilaterally ended in late 2017, that has been hanging by a thread thanks to court injunctions,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said in a speech to a liberal group, according to Fox News.
“A plan that fails to make sure people with temporary protection status and deferred enforced departure recipients don’t have a path to a permanent status or citizenship.
“A plan that seeks to limit asylum seekers fleeing violence.
“So what are we asking for? What we are asking for is very simple. We need to make sure that we cut, and not put increases on spending on detention facilities. We need to stop using DHS as a slush fund,” Omar said.
“We need to abolish ICE and end all inhumane deportation and detention programs.
“We need to fight back against the criminalization of immigrants and those crossing the border.
“We need to create a fair and accessible path to legal status and citizenship for all undocumented people in the United States.”
I saw Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) speak on immigration today. The line that got the most applause? “Abolish ICE.” Repeatedly during her speech, she talked about the supposed criminalization of immigration. @capitalresearch pic.twitter.com/PukUyK61GM
— Ashley Rae Goldenberg (@Communism_Kills) May 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi slammed the concept of “merit,” calling it “condescending.”
Nancy Pelosi is already attacking President Trump’s proposed merit-based immigration plan as racist.
— 🇺🇸 Jack Ralph 🇺🇸 (@NevadaJack2) May 17, 2019
Yes, apparently merit immigration is condescending. This is news to us.
Immigration is an American virtue, but it ought to be able to strengthen us, not divide us or create more dependents.
Trump’s plan not only makes us stronger that way, but it also encourages assimilation through English proficiency and a civics exam.
Assimilation is a very dirty word in liberal circles right now, which is probably why this is going to be so controversial.
As of right now, the plan is probably stalled.
The Democrat-controlled House isn’t going to take it up, certainly not without any deal for DACA.
Meanwhile, The Hill reported that the plan was “met by … ambivalence from conservatives.” It shouldn’t be.
This ought to be something that conservatives ought to embrace — particularly since it’ll throw the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans on immigration into sharp relief.