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