Trump set to unveil his proposed overhaul of immigration rules

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2019) — After years of setbacks and stalemates, President Donald Trump will lay out his plan to overhaul the nation's broken immigration system on Thursday.

The latest effort, spearheaded by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, focuses on beefing up border security and rethinking the green card system so that it would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of relatives of those already in the country.

A shift to a more merit-based system prioritizing high-skilled workers would mark a dramatic departure from the nation's largely family-based approach, which officials said gives roughly 66% of green cards to those with family ties and only 12% based on skills.

Efforts to overhaul the immigration system have gone nowhere for three decades amid deeply divided Republicans and Democrats. Prospects for an agreement seem especially bleak as the 2020 elections near, though the plan could give Trump and the GOP a proposal to rally behind, even if talks with Democrats go nowhere.

The plan does not address what to do about the millions of immigrants already living in the country illegally, including hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. as children — a top priority for Democrats. Nor does it reduce overall rates of immigration, as many conservative Republicans would like to see.

Trump will nonetheless deliver a Rose Garden speech Thursday throwing his weight behind the plan, which has thus far received mixed reviews from Republicans in the Senate.

In briefings Wednesday that attracted dozens of journalists, administration officials said the plan would create a points-based visa system, similar to those used by Canada and other countries.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline the plan before Trump's announcement, said the U.S. would award the same number of green cards as it now does. But far more would go to exceptional students so they can remain in the country after graduation, professionals and people with high-level and vocational degrees. Factors such as age, English language ability and employment offers would also be taken into account.

Far fewer green cards would be given to people with relatives already in the U.S. and 57% versus the current 12% would be awarded based on merit. The diversity visa lottery, which offers green cards to citizens of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S., would be eliminated. Officials insisted diversity would be addressed in other ways.

The officials offered fewer specifics on border security, which is expected to remain a key focus for Trump as he campaigns for reelection. Trump has been furiously railing against the spike in Central American migrant families trying to enter the country, and he forced a government shutdown in a failed effort to fulfill his 2016 promise to build a southern border wall.

As part of the plan, officials want to shore up ports of entry to ensure all vehicles and people are screened and to create a self-sustaining fund, paid for with increased fees, to modernize ports of entry.

The plan also calls for building border wall in targeted locations and continues to push for an overhaul to the U.S. asylum system, with the goal of processing fewer applications and removing people who don't qualify faster.

While the officials insisted their effort was not a "political" plan, they nonetheless framed it as one they hoped Republicans would unite behind, making clear to voters what the party is "for."

"I don't think it's designed to get Democratic support as much as it is to unify the Republican Party around border security, a negotiating position," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close ally of the White House.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower immigration rates, applauded a "very positive effort" on legal immigration, but said it was "undermined by the embrace of the current very high level of immigration."

Republicans on the Hill, too, voiced skepticism, even as administration officials insisted the plan had been embraced by those who briefed on it. A PowerPoint presentation shared with reporters Wednesday referred to the plan as "The Republican Proposal," even though many GOP members had yet to see it.

Graham, who rolled out his own proposal Wednesday to address the recent flood of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, said he had advised Trump to try to cut a new deal with Democrats and believed Trump was open to that.

"I am urging the president to lead us to a solution," he said.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

I agree with this HHS proposal reversing the Obamacare section benefiting transgenders primarily because …

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Tornadoes rake 2 Oklahoma cities, killing 2 and injuring 29
  Israeli president shocked by German kippa warning
Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US
Venezuela negotiators return to Norway for crisis talks
Mike Pence: West Point grads should expect to see combat
Flooding leads to Oklahoma and Arkansas evacuations
New candidates vie to succeed UK’s May with focus on Brexit
Bolton says N. Korea missile tests violated UN resolutions

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Gillette is at it again: This time featuring Samson, a transgender man shaving for the first time
French police hunt man who planted explosive device in Lyon, release surveillance photos
Tornado strikes El Reno, Oklahoma; at least 2 deaths confirmed: reports
Thousands march in Hong Kong to commemorate June 4 protests
Israelis protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme Court

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Tornadoes rake 2 Oklahoma cities, killing 2 and injuring 29

EL RENO, Okla. (May 26, 2019) — A tornado leveled a motel and tore through a mobile home park near Oklahoma City overnight, killing two people and injuring at least 29 others before a second twister raked a suburb of Tulsa more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, authorities said Sunday.