Donald Trump Presents His New Immigration Plan Based On "merit"

After years of setbacks and stagnations, President Donald Trump will present another immigration plan on Thursday in an attempt to convince the US public and lawmakers that the current system needs to be reformed.

The White House has decided to focus on redesigning only legal immigration regulations, without addressing the situation of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US or the limbo in which young people called "dreamers" are.

The new initiative, promoted by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and advisor, focuses on border security and on modifying the current system of "green cards" (permanent residence cards for immigrants) in order to favor highly qualified people, with university careers and already received job offers, and not to relatives of those already in the United States.


Trump is scheduled to give a speech on Thursday in which he will express his support for the plan, which has caused mixed reactions among Republican senators. The initiative will face opposition in Congress, and the chances of reaching an agreement on such a controversial issue during the election season are not very promising.

Senior government officials believe that the plan could enjoy the unified support of Republicans, giving the party a road map that they could say they support. The plan does not address what to do with people who live without permission in the United States, including the so-called "dreamers", immigrants brought to the country as children. However, many outside the government believe that the White House could be open to an eventual agreement that could include new protections for that group.

In an informational session with the press on Wednesday attended by dozens of journalists, government officials said the plan could create a point-based visa system, similar to that applied by Canada and other countries. Officials asked to remain anonymous so they could outline the plan before Trump made his announcement.

The United States would grant the same number of green cards as it does to date, but a much larger number would be given to exceptional students, professionals and people with technical diplomas. Other factors that will be taken into account are age, English proficiency and job offers.

A much smaller number of green cards will be granted to people with relatives in US territory. The visa lottery could be eliminated by diversity, which offers green cards to citizens of countries with low historical rates of immigration to the United States.

The officials offered few specific details about border security, but said the government is confident of creating a fund, financed with increases to certain quotas, and leveraging resources to modernize security and ports of entry.

The government intends a reform of the asylum system that reduces the number of applications to be processed and facilitates the deportation of people who do not meet the requirements.

It is not the first time that the Trump White House has presented an immigration plan. A "four pillars" proposal submitted last year failed due to lack of support from Republicans. This time, the presidential residence has assumed a more active role and drafted the text for the legislature.

This Wednesday, Trump again related the arrival of undocumented or less qualified immigrants with crime, although there is no data to support that claim.

"I don't think most countries are sending us their best citizens. That's what's happening, and it's causing us huge problems in terms of crime," Trump said in a speech to relatives of deceased police officers.

The text of Trump's legislative proposal will not be made public this Thursday, but "later", although the goal is to approve it before the 2020 presidential elections.

It remains to be seen, however, that the plan can get some vote from the Democratic opposition, and at least one Republican senator, Susan Collins, has already shown her skepticism about a plan that does not solve the situation of the "dreamers", undocumented who They arrived in the country when they were children.

(With information from AP and EFE)



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