Sat | May 25, 2019

New Trump immigration plan would overhaul green card system

Published:Thursday | May 16, 2019 | 10:34 AM
President Donald Trump speaks at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of setbacks and stalemates, President Donald Trump will lay out yet another immigration plan as he tries to convince the American public and lawmakers that the nation’s legal immigration system should be overhauled.

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 favour 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 prioritising 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.

But the plan, which is set to be rolled out on Thursday but has yet to be embraced by Trump’s own party — let alone Democrats — faces an uphill battle in Congress.

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.

We want to hear from you! Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169, email us at editors@gleanerjm.com or onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com.