In the biggest call for change to our immigration system ever proposed, President Trump wants to reinvent how we allocate visas, creating a system that is based more on skills and less on family ties, refugee admissions or the existing immigration diversity lottery.
The goal? Increase the number of work-based visas to 600,000 from the current 140,000. He calls it the Build America Visa. That’s great.
In a speech from the White House on Thursday, President Trump called his proposal “pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker. It’s just common sense.”
“Our proposal fulfills our sacred duty to those living here today while ensuring America remains a welcoming country to immigrants joining us tomorrow. We want immigrants coming in. We cherish the open door that we want to create for our country but a big proportion of those immigrants must come in through merit and skill.”
Now that’s smart. This is truly the smartest pitch I’ve heard on immigration. The administration is also identifying three skills-based categories for the “Build America Visa.” We’re looking for workers with extraordinary talent, workers in sought-after specialized vocations and exceptional students.
Family would still play a role -- but less of one because the President says we don’t need people that will be a drain on our system but, rather, people that will help us be our best.
“As a result of our broken rules, the annual green card flow is mostly low-wage and low-skill. Newcomers compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans and put pressure on social safety net and generous welfare programs.”
Before anyone gets too upset or suggests he’s being too harsh or I’m being too harsh for saying this is a good idea, keep in mind, every other developed country in the world has a system like he’s proposing.
Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom all have merit-based immigration systems.
The Democrats are already fighting it but they need to get over it and put politics aside. It’s time to do what’s right. They understood this when Trump wasn’t in office, right? Okay. So, let’s fix it.