US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a sweeping immigration and border reform proposal that would utilize a “point-based selection process” that favors younger, educated, English-speaking workers, rather than focusing on familial ties.
The White House plan claims that it will not change the number of green cards allocated each year. “But instead of admitting people through random chance, [the President] will establish a simple, universal criteria for admission to the United States.” Trump says that the reform will cast a wider net and “increase the diversity of immigration flows into our country.”
The merit-based system will rate immigrants by their age, English proficiency, level of education and whether they are “higher wage workers.” It would also increase visas for those with particular skills from 12 percent now to 57 percent under the new system.
Trump says that under the current system, “we’re not able to give preference to a doctor, a researcher, [or] a student who graduated number one in his class from the finest colleges in the world.”
Currently, 66 percent of legal immigrants come here on the basis of 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. Another 21 percent of immigrants are issued either by random lottery, or because they are fortunate enough to be selected for humanitarian relief
Trump cited Australia, Canada, and New Zealand as countries that have similar skill-based immigration policies and admit 60 to 75 percent of their legal immigrants based on skill or merit.