Jenny Beth’s Journal: The Case for Trump’s Immigration Proposal
There’s a reason why we have immigration laws – why most countries have immigration laws. Unfortunately, our government has spent decades refusing to enforce our current laws and refusing to make any attempts to address the growing threat of illegal immigration. Recently, President Trump addressed the inconsistencies in our current immigration system. As of right now, 87 percent of current legal immigrants come here on the basis of random chance and not on the basis of merit. President Trump aims to change that.
So, under the immigration policy in place right now, 87 percent of current legal immigrants are granted the right to immigrate to the United States because it benefits them, irrespective of whether or not their presence in the United States would benefit the United States as a whole. As the President pointed out, “only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill or based on merit.”
That’s crazy. Perhaps more importantly, it’s irregular – a review of other nations’ immigration policies reveals this U.S. policy to be an outlier.
For instance, Canada admitted 296,346 permanent residents in 2016. Of those, 53 percent were economic immigrants, while just 26 percent were admitted because they had ties to someone already living legally in Canada. In Germany, immigration as a non-citizen of another European Union nation is limited to skilled or highly educated workers. Great Britain transitioned to a points-based immigration system favoring those with economic assets in 2010. And so on.
President Trump’s proposal aims to turn this current U.S. policy on its head. Under the president’s plan, immigrants allowed to come to the United States because they bring something our economy needs would jump to 57 percent, while those allowed to come because of a family tie would be halved to 33 percent.
That’s the way it ought to be. We should allow – and encourage – immigration from those who have skills and talents from which our economy, and our nation, can benefit. And we should prioritize them and their entry, as opposed to simply allowing anyone in who happens to be related somehow to someone already here.
Just as important, the president’s proposal recognizes that before you can begin to make changes to the immigration regime in place, you first have to secure the border.
For the first time ever, we have a president who is taking action and is addressing not one, but several problems in our immigration system. President Trump’s recent proposal deserves serious consideration.