It seems that the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is behind this latest immigration plan. Kushner partnered with various conservative groups to create an immigration proposal that would attract “the best and brightest from all around the world” to the United States.
The plan is likely to have many opponents and faces an uphill battle, even among the among Republican Party’s own members. It calls for replacing the current family-based immigration system with a system that favors highly skilled, financially self-sufficient immigrants who know English and pass a civics exam. For the Democrats, the plan will most likely be a non-starter, as it fails to address DACA recipients or the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
How will it work?
The President says his plan would use “an easy-to-navigate, point-based selection system” to determine candidates’ eligibility.
“You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net. You will get more points for having a valuable skill, an offer of employment, an advanced education or a plan to create jobs,” Trump said.
According to Trump, his plan wouldn’t change the total number of green cards offered annually, but would instead increase the proportion of green cards allocated to skilled workers.
“We want immigrants coming in. We cherish the open door that we want to create for our country,” he said. “But a big proportion of those immigrants must come in through merit and skill.”
What immigrant advocates are saying?
“President Trump’s proposed immigration plan is an outrageous attempt to shut doors to everyone but the most wealthy and privileged individuals, circumventing human rights and legal obligations toward asylum-seekers,” Amnesty International said in a statement after Trump’s speech.
The Southern Poverty Law Center called the plan “profoundly anti-American” and said the English-language requirement “is deeply at odds with our nation’s values and diversity.”