WATCH: Beto O’Rourke says walls ‘contribute to death and suffering’ to asylum seekers
President Trump is looking to come up with more than just a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as he is set to unveil a detailed overhaul of the immigration system. The sweeping changes, Fox News reports, will include a drastic change to the merit or skills-based system for allowing certain immigrants into the country.
From Fox News:
The move would more than quadruple the number of immigrants admitted because of their work-related skills, while dramatically slashing the number of immigrants admitted because of family ties. Currently, approximately 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections.
Those percentages, under the new plan, would shift to 57 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Ten percent of immigrants would be admitted on humanitarian or other grounds, but the plan would end the visa lottery program.
In its place: a new “Build America Visa” program that would recognize “extraordinary talent” and “people with professional and specialized vocations,” including exceptional students, Fox News has learned.
Potential immigrants would be assessed using a point-based system, accounting for factors including age, English proficiency, whether each candidate has an offer of employment above a certain wage threshold, and educational and vocational certifications. Pledges to invest and create jobs also would be considered.
The sweeping immigration bill comes as Republican Senator Lindsay Graham proposed a similar effort in the Senate.
From BizPac Review:
While Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday unveiled legislation he is proposing to deal with the ongoing crisis of illegal immigration at the southern border, the president’s two-part plan includes border security and a major immigration overhaul with a proposal that would radically change who is issued a green card.
The other changes address the system of legal immigration and proposes changes to the merit-based admissions procedure which will not change the number of green cards being issued annually but would dramatically shift the percentages of immigrants admitted because of their work-related skills and those admitted due to family ties in the U.S.
The employment and skills of immigrants currently accounts for 12 percent of those admitted but would change to 57 percent under the new plan. And while family connections account for 66 percent of immigrants who are admitted at this time, the proposal would decrease that to 33 percent.
Graham’s bill would also add 500 new immigration judges to help deal with the influx of migrant status cases. The bill would also require migrants from Central and South America to apply for asylum in their own home countries or in Mexico. Currently, these migrants can enter the U.S., file for asylum, and wait out their court hearing.