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President Trump announced on Thursday his new plan to overhaul the U.S. immigration system. One of his most important plans is to focus on merit: the skills and knowledge that immigrants would contribute to the well-being and success of the United States. The President’s proposal would increase the share of legal immigrants who are admitted based on merit from 12 percent to 57 percent. The plan would use a point-based system that rewards jobs skills and education. The plan eliminates the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which awards 50,000 visas per year based not on merit, but on a random system where individuals are selected from countries that have been deemed “underrepresented” in immigration rates to the United States. Learn more in The Daily Signal.

Heritage President Kay Coles James called Trump’s proposal “a welcome step in the right direction.” The proposal aligns with many of the immigration policy recommendations that Heritage published in a report in February: An Agenda for American Immigration Reform.

While Trump’s proposal addresses legal immigration, a new proposal in the U.S. Senate would address illegal immigration at our southern border.

On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., unveiled the Secure and Protect Act of 2019. The Act would stop those who seek to “game” the U.S. asylum system and use it to enter the country illegitimately. It would require asylum-seekers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and bordering countries to file for asylum at refugee processing centers in their home countries and Mexico.

The bill would also add 500 new immigration judges to handle the backlog of illegal immigration cases, expand the length of time that migrant families may be held together while their asylum claims are processed, and allow U.S. officials to return unaccompanied minors from Central America to their home countries rather than releasing them into the United States. You can learn more in this Daily Signal article: Lindsey Graham Proposes to Tighten Asylum, Immigration Procedures to Relieve Border.

Read Heritage’s key takeaways on what immigration reform should look like here. You can also read or share the takeaways in Spanish here.

 What do you think about these steps to fix the immigration system?

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Several states recently took steps to protect the unborn. On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a law that bans abortion in most circumstances. Read more in this article in The Daily Signal. On Thursday, Missouri’s state senate passed a bill that would ban abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy.

Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio recently passed pro-life legislation that bans abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat.

“There’s a reason more than 300 pro-life laws have passed at the state level in the last decade,” said Melanie Israel, a research associate in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “Americans largely reject the radical vision of abortion on demand and are supporting pro-life leaders in state legislatures who pass pro-life laws.”

In reaction to these pro-life victories, actress Alyssa Milano called for a nationwide “sex strike” in protest. Heritage’s Kelsey Bolar, Lauren Evans, and Monica Burke discuss Milano’s accidental support for abstinence along with other timely issues in the latest edition of the Problematic Women podcast.

What do you think about these laws, and the possibility that they will challenge Roe vs. Wade at the Supreme Court?

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On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would amend all major civil rights law, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” along with race, sex, and religion as classes that are protected from discrimination.

Read more in The Daily Signal: With Support of 8 Republicans, House Passes Equality Act

The Equality Act would give the federal government power to punish citizens who dissent from sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) ideology, including medical professionals, parents, women and girls, businesses, and charities. The bill would violate the right to freedom of conscience, religion, and speech for every American adhering to a traditional view of these issues. The bill would also take away the authority of local communities to determine who is allowed in single-sex facilities and whether biological men and boys are allowed to join women’s and girls’ sports teams.

Watch: Heritage Explains: How The Equality Act Harms Parents and Children

Read all about it:

Sexual Ideology Indoctrination: The Equality Act’s Impact on School Curriculum and Parental Rights

The Equality Act Could Let Schools, Not Parents, Make Decisions About Children

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., recently explained how the Equality Act would take away rights from women and girls; watch her remarks here.

School administrators are already trying to silence women and girls who dare to speak out against “transgender,” biologically male students competing in women’s sports. The Daily Signal recently interviewed a girl in Connecticut who refused to be bullied: 8th Place: A High School Girl’s Life After Transgender Students Joined Her Sport.

Leftists continually push to invent new rights for certain groups of people while undermining the rights of others. How should conservatives respond to this disturbing trend?

On May 2, Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James gave her first media interview after Google decided to disband an AI advisory board following backlash from leftist employees who objected to the inclusion of a conservative on the board.

“Google wanted us to stress-test some of their ideas,” James told Fox News’ Shannon Bream. “We use Google products at The Heritage Foundation. Of course, as one of their customers, I would think that they’d want to know what our opinions are – what our concerns are – about artificial intelligence. It was such a missed opportunity.”

Given the growing hostility towards conservatives on social media, how should we fight back against efforts to silence us?

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