President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have unveiled an unpopular immigration plan that would allow migrants green cards on a “merit-based system.” The system would rank migrants’ eligibility with factors such as age, ability to speak English, job offers and college degrees instead of on whether or not the applicant has family in the United States, which Trump usually calls “chain migration.”
The First Lady’s parents became citizens using that very family-based system Trump says is “contrary to American values.”
Under the new system, about 57 percent of green cards would be issued on merit, compared to about 12 percent now. About two-thirds of green cards are currently given out based on family ties but the new proposal would cut that percentage down to about a third.
The plan does not include any mention of the 800,000 “Dreamers” who were included in former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That was done on purpose because it’s “a divisive thing,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Trump has tried to end the DACA program but federal courts stopped him in 2017. The case could come before the Supreme Court in the next term.
According to the Washington Post, the plan is not very popular on either side of the aisle and several White House aides don’t think the plan has “any chance” of passing. The aides also said the president speaking in the Rose Garden is a waste of his time.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer spoke about the plan on the senate floor.
“Truth be told, the reported White House plan isn’t a serious attempt at immigration reform. If anything, it’s a political document that is anti-immigration reform. It repackages the same partisan, radical, anti-immigrant policies that the administration has pushed for the two years — all of which have struggled to earn even a simple majority in the Senate let alone 60 votes,” Schumer said.