WASHINGTON, D.C. – That the United States needs immigration policy reform is an understatement. Contrary to the reforms that many Democrats, and too many Republicans, have been floating for years (amnesty, lax enforcement, open to the neediest and least beneficial to our nation), the changes that Americans really deserve are ones that establish security and accountability while ensuring immigration systems are designed to positively affect our nation.
That is exactly the kind of plan President Donald Trump proposed in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.
From National Review:
“We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages, and safety of American workers first,” Trump said. “Our proposal is pro-America, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker. It’s just common sense.”
Under the plan unveiled Thursday, which has not yet resulted in the drafting of any actual legislation, the points system used to evaluate applicants will be recalibrated to create a more highly educated affluent class of immigrants by increasing the number of visas awarded to the highly-skilled from 12 to 57 percent.
The plan will also reform the asylum system, which, as currently constructed, allows virtually all migrants who make asylum claims to enter the country while their cases are being adjudicated. The new system will filter out “meritless” asylum claims at the border, Trump said Tuesday.
The points-system reformation would be coupled with funding to improve physical infrastructure at the border. Specifically, the plan creates a trust fund, financed through fees collected at the border, which will create revenue for the construction of additional border wall, 400 miles of which will be completed by the end of the year, according to Trump.
The plan also includes provisions to facilitate assimilation through a series of language and knowledge requirements.
“Future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission. Through these steps we will deliver an immigration system that respects and even strengthens our future, our traditions, and our values,” Trump said. […]”
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All of these proposals seem like common sense. Immigration is a good thing, but only when it is accountable (border security), and advantageous to BOTH the United States and immigrants (merit system, assimilation an language requirements).
To be sure, the pressure need to remain on congress to approve and fund adequate border security, first and foremost. No serious immigration system reform can honestly be expected to take hold for as long as our borders are so easily overrun by illegal entrants, of which there is zero accountability.
Of course, the Democrats are scoffing at this plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it ‘dead on arrival’ and suggested that even the term ‘merit’ was some how condescending.
Pelosi, said: “This dead-on-arrival plan is not a remotely serious proposal. The White House has repackaged the worst of its past failed immigration plans. […] To say that this plan’s application criteria are ‘merit-based’ is the height of condescension.”
Before Trump’s announcement Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said: “When Stephen Miller, one of the president’s most virulently anti-immigrant advisers, is in the room crafting your immigration plan, it’s a surefire failure.”
They conveniently failed to mention that such merit-based systems are employed in countries throughout the world to create strategic advantages and ensure healthy, beneficial immigration flows, many of which Democrats are fond of pointing to as examples ‘compassionate’ or ‘welcoming’ nations.
It is unlikely that this proposal will move anywhere in the US House, but Trump teased at the Rose Garden Thursday that if Democrats block this proposal now, he looks forward to passing it after 2020 when Republicans take back the House, and hold the Senate and White House.