New reports indicate that the White House is preparing to reveal its massive overhaul of the current US immigration system, which will reportedly include an end to the controversial “Diversity Visa Lottery” program and a focus on merit-based entry.
Under the new system, work-related skills would become the focal point of admissions, while those seeking to enter the US using family ties would be notably reduced.
President Trump is set to make a major announcement regarding immigration on Thursday, which many believe will be the unveiling of his new immigration plan.
Trump’s new “Build America Visa” program is geared to attract immigrants with “extraordinary talent” and “professional and specialized vocations,” according to sources close to the administration.
From Fox News:
The White House is set to unveil a sweeping new plan that would radically transform the makeup of immigrants in the United States, ending the visa lottery program and implementing a comprehensive merit-based admissions procedure, three senior administration officials told Fox News on Wednesday.
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 average yearly wage of legal immigrants currently is approximately $43,000. The officials said immigrants admitted based on education and skills would have an average income of $126,000, and they would expect the average yearly wage of all immigrants to rise to roughly $96,000.
The Trump administration also said it has considered other similar immigration systems. When Canada implemented a merit-based system, it largely resulted in a “pooling” of immigrants from East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. To avoid pooling, the White House said it would add points to immigrant candidates from under-represented countries, but it would not impose caps on certain countries.
President Trump is set to deliver a major immigration address Thursday afternoon, Fox News has learned, amid previous reports that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working to finalize a plan that focuses on border security and changes to the legal immigration system.
Fox News has been told the reason for the push for a skill-based system would be to attract the best and brightest talent, protect American wages, increase the gross domestic product (GDP), and preserve humanitarian values.
Other than adopting a merit-based admissions procedure, the plan also would update the asylum admissions procedure and expedite the adjudication process for people with legitimate asylum claims, the sources told Fox News.