Trump unveils plan for immigration reform
Donald Trump unveiled Thursday his broad proposal to overhaul the US's immigration program, which would, if enacted, divergently shift the system toward seeking skilled labor and potential job creators.
THE NEW VISA SYSTEM
The plan, which is unlikely to gain traction in a divided Congress, had long been in development within his administration, being spearheaded by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s far-right senior advisor Stephen Miller also helped lead the effort.
It would not only increase security at US borders, but would also dramatically increase the the educational and skills requirements for individuals seeking to immigrate.
The latter changes would be most clearly manifested in the US's green card system that is currently heavily based on a lottery, familial relations and employer sponsorship. That would be changed to a points-based merit system preferring high-skilled, highly-educated individuals and job creators in what Trump called a "Build America Visa". The total number of immigration papers in that program, Trump said, would not change.
Trump said if his plan is adopted it would be the "pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world” because it "builds upon our nation's rich history of immigration while strengthening the bonds of citizenship that bond us together as a national family." Trump claimed the current system discriminates against "genius." “We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed,” he said.
Trump's plan comes as those of his two immediate predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama were unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform packages due to partisan differences within Congress, which has to sign off on any potential overhaul.
That trend is likely to continue under Trump with many Republicans not signaling whether they will support the president's proposal, and with near-unanimous opposition among Democrats.