Trump Unveils Merit Based Immigration Reform

It seem like instead of your “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…President Trump only wants countries to send their “top talent” to our shores.

Trump has just unveiled his long-awaited immigration overhaul that would dramatically alter how the US accepts people into the country, upending the system in order to favor admissions based on merit rather than family ties.

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“If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world,” Trump said from the Rose Garden.

The proposal would judge immigrants with a points-based system that would favor high-skilled workers — accounting for age, English proficiency, education and whether the applicant has a well-paying job offer.

According to Fox News, currently, only about 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections already inside the country. Administration officials estimate that those numbers would flip to 57 and 33 percent, respectively, under the Trump plan.

“Currently 66 percent of legal immigrants come here based on random chance, they’re admitted solely because they have a relative in the United States, and it doesn’t really matter who that relative is,” Trump said.

He said the plan would help recruit “top talent.”

“We discriminate against genius,” Trump said of current policies. “We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed.”

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Trump has long sought to end what he has called “chain migration” as part of his broader push to reform America’s immigration laws and who is allowed into the country.

The president has also frequently called for the end to the visa lottery program, something his immigration plan seeks to do. It would be replaced by a new “Build America Visa” program that would recognize “extraordinary talent” and “people with professional and specialized vocations,” including exceptional students.

The plan does not deal with those already in the country illegally, including those who came to the country as children and were protected under an Obama-era executive order – the so-called “dreamers”.

However, Trump said it closes loopholes so that gang members and criminals are inadmissible, and would stop frivolous asylum claims.

Trump concluded his presentation of the plan by presenting it in stark contrast to anything the Democrats have proposed on immigration. “Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages and frankly, lawless chaos,” he said. “We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first.”

“Through these steps, we will deliver an immigration system that strengthens our traditions, our culture and our values,” he  said.