- US president Donald Trump has said he is not against people coming into the country but wants them to come legally through a merit-based system
- Experts believe the move would help qualified people from countries like India
- Different types of Immigration held Family-Based V Merit-Based-Everything you need to know
President Donald Trump today said he wants foreign workers to come in the US through a merit-based immigration system so as to meet the demands of companies that are moving into America in greater numbers.
Indian-Americans, most of whom are highly skilled and came to the US mainly on H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of green cards or permanent legal residency.
“I want people to come into our country because our country is doing so well. We have companies moving into our country at numbers that nobody has seen in a long time. We need workers. So, I want people to come in. They have to come in through the merit system though,” Trump told reporters at the White House during a luncheon with members of the Congress.
“They have to come in so that they can help our country and these companies,” Trump said responding to a question on immigration after the US Supreme Court upheld his travel ban against people coming from eight Muslim-majority countries.
The US president said he is not against people coming into the country but made it clear he wants them to come legally through a merit-based system, a move which experts believe would help qualified people from countries like India.
In Wisconsin, he said Foxconn, one of the great companies of the world, is setting up a manufacturing base.
“They make the laptop for Apple, and iPhones, a lot of it. And they’re building a tremendous plant right now in Wisconsin. They need workers. I have to let people come in. But they have to come in through a merit. They have to be people that can love our country and help our country,” Trump said.
Trump said that the current immigration policy makes the least sense.
It is a hodgepodge of laws that have been put together over years and this needs to be changed, he asserted.
“It’s so simple. It’s called, “I’m sorry, you can’t come in. You have to go in through a legal process. You don’t have to see a judge where the judge is going to take three years before you can come back. In the meantime, you never come back because you’re already in the country. You’re someplace in the country. And that would be bad, but it’s really bad when it’s a criminal,” he said.
There are plenty of those criminals who are into the country this way. They use young children for their own benefit. We have to change the whole immigration picture. We will be able to do it. We need the border wall. We need the border. We need border security and we need modern equipment. We will get it done, I have no doubt,” he said.
Trump said there needs to be a system wherein the country does not need thousands of judges to handle the cases of illegal immigrants.
“We have to find a system where you don’t need thousands of judges sitting at a border. Other countries look at us and they think we’re crazy. They say, what kind of a thing is that? They have countries where they have no problem with people pouring in. And you have countries where people do want to go in,” he said.
“If you look at the European Union, they’re meeting right now to toughen up their immigration policies because they’ve been overrun. They have been overrun. Frankly, a lot of those countries are not the same places anymore. I’m sad to say it, and I said that at the G7: They are not the same places,” he said.
Family-Based V Merit-Based Immigration:
President Donald Trump has been very vocal about his ambitions to end extended family-based immigration in the United States.
The president’s rallying call grew louder after a suspected terrorist detonated a bomb inside a New York City subway on December 11th. Federal officials later confirmed the suspect in the bombing had entered the United States with a family-based green card or through what the president calls “chain migration”.
In a tweet from November 1st, the president wrote:
“CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”
Instead of a family-based immigration system, the Trump administration is pushing for a merit-based system. To understand how that could impact you, we’re going to break down what these different type of immigration systems mean.
The United States currently uses a family-based immigration system that emphasizes family unification.
For example, United States citizens are allowed to obtain green cards for their spouses, unmarried children under 21 years of age and their parents who are over 21. These family members are categorized as “immediate relatives” by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immediate relatives can obtain green cards fairly quickly to enter the country.
United States citizens can also petition for other family members including unmarried children over 21 years of age, married sons and daughters and siblings who are over the age of 21. The USCIS places these family members in the “family-based preference” category.
Immediate relatives of green card holders are also part of the “family-based preference” category. These immigrants typically have to wait years to enter the United States depending on their country of origin. Some immigrants in this category have to wait for decades in order to enter the United States legally.
Critics of family-based immigration refer to the system as “chain migration” where one family member can create a chain for multiple immigrants to enter the country. Supporters say it helps
Immigrants who enter the country through the family-based process must still complete complex immigration forms and are investigated by the USCIS to determine if they are eligible to enter the country.
The merit-based immigration system the Trump administration is advocating for would eliminate most immigration using family ties.
In August of 2017, President Donald Trump and two congressmen introduced the RAISE Act. An immigration reform bill that would eliminate the family-based immigration system.
The proposal would reduce current immigration (over 1 million people per year) by 41 percent in its first year and 50 percent by its 10th year.
Currently, 64 percent of green cards issued are family-based. Forty-four percent are for spouses and minor children of U.S. residents and 20 percent are for “family-sponsored preferences.” This category includes parents and siblings; the RAISE Act would eliminate these categories.
It also creates a renewable temporary visa for the elderly parents of U.S. residents to come to the United States for the purposes of caretaking.
The RAISE Act would allow immigrants to enter the country strictly through a points-based system. Immigrants would be awarded points for categories such as their age, education, knowledge of English, the salary of a U.S. job offer and extraordinary achievements.
When Might this Change Occur?
There’s really no way to tell when or if the United States’ immigration system would change from a family-based system to a merit-based system. A dramatic change in the law would have to be approved by Congress and then signed by President Donald Trump.
The president has said it is one of his top priorities to reshape the American immigration system but he will need to work with congressional leaders in order to make that happen.
A timetable for when and if immigration reform would happen remains unclear.
Regardless of when it might happen, it’s important to note that any change to the law likely would not impact immigration forms that have been submitted prior to the law taking effect.
That means forms that are submitted to the USCIS prior to the law being changed would still be processed under the current immigration system.
U.S. citizens who would like to sponsor relatives for green cards can get their immigration forms completed quickly with American Immigration Center. American Immigration Center guides immigrants through the application process while checking their answers along the way for common errors.