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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?

Comments (61)

Janet Parrott - May 17, 2019

That is a common sense plan. Very good. The people approve. I want our Congress to support the people.

ruth johnson - May 17, 2019

Excellent approach, finally!!
Anyone should be able to apply BUT we follow a these formulated set of steps for EVERYONE. That is fair.

Terry Barger - May 17, 2019

I think this is the long over due first steps to solving this problem.

D GLOSSNER - May 17, 2019

very pleased; Administration recommendations are excellent and Senate bill addresses a major problem effectively.

Wendell Bachmann - May 17, 2019

I think that the proposed immigration law would be excellent.
I would suggest that the Government open the FEMA camps for illegal immigrants until we want to release them or turn them back to their country. We feed most of them anyway so why not feed them in captivity rather than turn them loose now and filter into our country, many causing problems and crime?

jerry metcalf - May 17, 2019

Just do it

Ingomar Nemling - May 17, 2019

I am a legal immigrant arrived in the US over 55 years ago. I am very disappointed in the way immigration is now handled in general, but especially the way the sanctuary cities are handling immigration.
I also feel that seasonal permits for field workers from Mexico should be made available. Farm workers are needed especially in California and they are
hard working people. Many of them like to leave after the season ended and bring their hard earned money back home to their families.

Jan Kreider - May 17, 2019

these are big steps in the right direction!
So thankful for the work Heritage is doing and God bless you all.

Marie D Tilson - May 17, 2019

I think this is a good start! We cannot afford to accept individuals that only want a free ride on our government.We who are on Social Security, who have put payments into it, are told that we may lose our benefits anytime. So how can we give money to the ones who are not able to take care of themselves?

David Andrews - May 17, 2019

Sensible and refreshing!

Carl Gebert - May 17, 2019

I believe it is the right thing to do. But it will never pass the House with this Congress. The Democrats will not pass anything on immigration, because they want to keep it a big issue for the 2020 election and blame it all on Trump.

L. McCall - May 17, 2019

Excellent approach toward two essential goals: 1. Curb illegal immigration, and
2. Encourage legal immigration by applicants who will take advantage of opportunities to learn the language, assimilate, and use their skills not only for their own progress but to strengthen our country.

Robert M. Copley - May 17, 2019

I bet that one thing, maybe two things, that President Trump, Lindsy Graham, Mc Connel and a host of other members of the House of Representatives and Senate will not do. Demand that the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Bill of Rights be mandated and enforced to the Nth degree.
I approached Senator Gardner, of Colorado about that when on a chance meeting, he had just entered a Mc Donalds restaurant in Limon, Colorado.
Senator Gardner was adamant about his support of the 10th and I reminded him of the fact that I have never seen, heard him elaborate on the Tenth Amendment let alone speak of it on his Senatorial Web page.
Personally, I think that they are all flakes and the I believ that the Democrat Party is not given enough credit for representing itself as the American Communist Party.
That is my opinion on the whole of it when it comes to the Federal Government not to mention my own State Government of Colorado which has trurned Communist.
Have a good day.

William Coates - May 17, 2019

It’s good to have some intelligence applied to the immigration problem. It should also be applied to illegals and asylum cases.
Speaking English and having some understanding of American civics must be a requirement for citizenship — why does that not apply to asylum cases too? There should be a time limit for those, and for getting off welfare.

Thomas Zemaitis - May 17, 2019

The President & Sen. Graham are def on the right track.
We are a country with borders! Why would Americans want people from other nations just walking into our country? Legal immigration is good, but our southern border is now out of control. I hope the president can fix this mess.

Ken Schwendemann - May 17, 2019

We must fight in court to build the wall which should have been built 2 or 3 decades ago. There are people around the world who want to live in this country legally or illegally according to a pew research three years ago in the W.S.J.
We need to deport millions of illegals that have broken our laws and stop the Lottery, Chain, and Anchar Babies loop holes. Develop and enforce the E-Verify program with GPS chips. to bring in go qualified people for citizenship who really want assimilate into America the Republic. All of the above must be voted on in Congress one step at a time.
And What do we do with the 25 to 30 million illegal aliens that are here today and growing? Something has to change by building and old fashion wall to send the world a message. Do something before it is to late. This is an all out war on our values as a country, if we are still a country. Let’s get on it today!!

Barbara Hrovatic - May 17, 2019

I believe President Trump is doing the right thing in building the wall, to protect our country.

Fred RUTHERFORD - May 17, 2019

Good ideas. Now we need congress to enact them as law. The reality is that the House will not pass it.

Howard Conwell Mayberry, Jr. - May 17, 2019

I find your proposal fine, yet lacking one facet I believe to be crucial and devastating to those who seek to “pave the way” for illegals entry into our county.
It is my understanding that Title 8 # U.S. Code 1324 a (a)(1)(A) and ditto ending in (v), make it a federal offense to harbor, employ or aid and assist an illegal alien in any manner whatsoever in the illegal alien’s efforts to remain in the U.S. and avoid apprehension by federal authority.
Does this not only demand the prosecution of those employing illegals, but the prosecution those traitorous public officials responsible for enacting “sanctuary?” Why no clamor?

William Coates - May 17, 2019

Lindsey Graham is just doing the usual RINO trick of throwing money at the problem while it grows bigger.
The caravans will continue until Central America gets honest governments, the rule of law, property rights, and a really Christian worldview. In other words, forever.

J Nat Prince - May 17, 2019

Big steps in the right direction. The people charging the border are not the same type people Senator Graham is talking about and they will continue to come. We still need to finish the wall.

Kevin - May 17, 2019

Neither Mr. Trumps proposal nor Mr. Graham’s “Secure and Protect Act” appear to address the unacceptable number of illegals already at large in our country. Most of them should be arrested and deported.
These measures are good and they are moving us in the right direction to secure our boarders and reform our immigration system to benefit our society. But we still have a serious problem with illegal trespassers and many of them are very undesirable. All of them have displayed a lack of regard for the citizens of America and the rule of law. Anyone who entered the United States illegally displays an attitude that if a law is inconvenient for them than they can just ignore and violate that law. We don’t want this type of person in our country.

Sandra Aleman - May 17, 2019

Both President Trump’s proposal and Senator Graham’s bill should become the law of the land. We need our country back, hopefully without undue social and cultural changes. We have always been a nation of immigrants, but not 3rd world illiterate ones.

Phil Galang - May 17, 2019

Yes, we ask God to magnify whatever we are able to give: We can also give have good information, relationships, spiritual gifts, and time to pray and participate. We trust our God to answer our prayer to inspire our brothers and sisters who are gifted with more resources such as the latest gift from someone who humbly did not even want his/her left hand know what the right hand is doing … we thank God for their exemplary humility in obedience to the grace of our Great God!

Marilyn Mills - May 18, 2019

I think it is a great idea and hope it will
be done. God bless you President Trump.

Deborah - May 18, 2019

I think these are all important and should have been done years ago, but how is any of this going to pass the House?

Nancy Baer - May 18, 2019

How can we work to get these proposed changes approved by our “resistant” Congress?

richard rogers - May 18, 2019

I support this effort to return our Immigration system back to where in the 50 and 60 when it was merit based.

Adee Jacobson - May 18, 2019

Excellent plan, and may it be accomplished soon.

Randy LaBounty - May 18, 2019

Way overdue…Congress has failed in its duties to ‘protect & defend’ American citizens. I hope these policies don’t get sidelined by the democrats & the Left, who want us to continue living under an ‘open borders’ policy so democrats can recruit more left leaning voters.

Priscilla Humphrey - May 18, 2019

I am 78. My husband is 83. We fear for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren when we see the deterioration of our culture and Christian values in this country. We won’t be around much longer and we rely on organizations like Heritage to stand against the ungodly forces sweeping our beloved country right now. Please continue to stand for us.

Delores M. Courtright - May 18, 2019

I am 85 yrs. old and in my earlier years they had high standards like these to get in to America. They had to have health clearance, learn to speak English, learn about our Constitution. Praise to Trump for standing up for America. He is the best President in my life time.

Phyllis Eix - May 18, 2019

I am thankful to President Trump, Senator Graham, and to Heritage for all the ways they are keeping our nation pointed in the right direction. May God bless their efforts, and our nation.

Ben Simpson - May 18, 2019

This is all well and good and long overdue, however, none of this matters unless we BUILD THE WALL!!! “You can put a tuxedo on a goat, but it’s still a goat!”

Robert - May 18, 2019

Finally, a step towards reality in handling immigrants based on what is best for the United States.

Lucille Worley - May 18, 2019

I am all for the new plans that President has set in motion for legalizing immigration!

Jim Christison - May 18, 2019

President Trump has been talking about this for a long, long time. It’s the Democrats in Congress who can’t get their rear ends in gear, to make this happen. The less accomplishments the President gets, the better they feel they can win in 2020.

Nancy Johnson - May 18, 2019

What we really need to do is to concentrate ALL our efforts on retaking the House (and holding the Senate) in 2020 so that Trump’s and Heritage’s proposals can become law.

Chris Milord - May 18, 2019

This is a positive step to eventually replace illegal immigration with legal immigration. First, the borders must be secured by any means necessary so as to regain our sovereignty. Next, potential immigrants must be rigorously vetted in their original countries before they travel. Third, the conditions surrounding student, tourist, and work visas must be enforced so as to minimize visa overstays. Fourth, more judges are needed to expedite criminal deportations as well as streamline the legal immigration process. Fifth, ID verification systems must be implemented to weed out fraudulent claims and documents. Sixth, allow into the USA only immigrants who can contribute to our society and won’t be a drain on social services. Seventh, eliminate birthright citizenship for unlawful migrants and restrict chain migration. Eighth, reduce the amount of foreign college students so that more American students can attend higher education. Ninth, put legal immigrants at the front of the line instead of handing out rights to folks who sneak in through the back door. Tenth, teach the values of hard work, personal responsibility, and the rule of law to students at all grade levels. We must restore the principles that have made this nation great.

AUGUST HEIM - May 18, 2019

If we still have laws and we do, I suggest we tattoo every illegal we catch on the forehead , document , and deport them. If they re-enter , KILL THEM. NO more asylum because we have sufficient proof it is abused , AND I dont care about people that violate or abuse OUR laws by entering . KILL them, NO more problem. I AM ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS. Two time loosers are killed

FRANCES WARD - May 18, 2019


Everett D Mains - May 18, 2019

These sound like definite improvements to a broken system. Do away with those asylum laws that cheat our immigration system, and then work on stopping birthright citizenship.

Linda Carpenter - May 19, 2019

I think Mr Graham as come up with perfect changes to our immigration system, and they should be put into use immediately.

Yvonne Viguerie - May 19, 2019

So helpful!

Marilyn M. Wick - May 19, 2019

I approve heartedly. Have a question. Why don’t other countries learn from us and change their own country? Freedom requires a price. We fought a war to get ours and regard it as a small price to pay for permanently changing a government into the kind that was by the people, and for the people. We need to support more governments or rebellions that are attempting to become republics, to show them our willingness to help.

Stuart Harvey - May 19, 2019

Great–long overdue

Marianne Pearce - May 19, 2019

Praise God! I am delighted in the President’s Immigration Bill. I will be praying hard that it gets past the House. Also for Lindsey Graham’s bill. Thanks for all ou do also! Marianne Pearce

Bill Clark - May 20, 2019

Finally, common sense reigns!

Jon “Monty” Davis - May 20, 2019

A bit watered down but any port in a storm and this is a storm.

Kennerh Quigley - May 20, 2019

These plans are certainly need. Why the liberals continue to not admit to the crisis of illegals (that is breaking the U.S.A Immigration Laws) is beyond my understanding of complying with the sound immigration policy.

Paul Skiff - May 20, 2019

The steps in this article, both proposed and being put I place are exactly what I “have been sayin'” we need for some time!

Betty Peckmann - May 20, 2019

That is how it worked in the past. Now to get it passed in Congress

M-M Sytsma - May 20, 2019

Congress must act now to change our loose current laws which encouraging foreign people to make long, arduous journeys to enter our country illegally. Stop the childish, vengeful fight with President Trump and put both the American people and these desperate would-be immigrants ahead of your petty political arguments.Stop the foolishness of birthright citizenship, chain migration and the insane lottery system. People must not continue to be enticed to our borders by allowing them to remain in the U.S and disappear here while waiting for a court date.

Cherie - May 21, 2019

I am for building a better border wall and screening immigrants for their skills to insure that those people who enter our country are willing to contribute work and not ride our free services. I am tired of support free loaders.

Leibert Danielson - May 21, 2019

It’s about time! Nearly everyone has known for a long time that the current system is broken, perhaps deliberately, and that common sense alternatives need to be debated and implemented.

Kenneth Woodruff - May 21, 2019

Illegal immigration is law-breaking! We should not allow any foreign law-breakers to remain in the USA. I am grateful that we have a president who is not afraid to tackle and solve this problem!

Joe Splavec - May 24, 2019

The steps described are clearly pointing in the right direction.

The next move needed is to deport illegal immigrants that are felons.

Jane Tucker - May 26, 2019

very good and no one should compain of any unfairness as it is free of that.

joseph picard - May 27, 2019

The U.S. should do away with the asylum program altogether.

Eleanor Muchmore - May 30, 2019

Go for it ASAP.

Donna Dugan - June 21, 2019

What about anchor babies?! That loophole needs to be eliminated! There are hotels in New York that cater to pregnant women about to give birth, just so they can deliver an anchor baby. Immigration needs to slow way down!! Here in Louisville, our teachers can’t teach our kids because our schools are flooded with kids that can’t speak English. We need to sue the democrats for not doing their job of protecting our country! We voted for Trump to get the wall and the unaccountable dems are allowing disease, criminals and unattended minors by the 100’s of thousands into our country. We’re sick of it. Stop helping countries that are allowing these caravans!!

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