Donald Trump endorses merit-based immigration system to cut green-cards, may benefit Indians

Washington: President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his support for a legislation that would cut in half the number legal immigrants allowed into the US while moving to a "merit-based" system favouring English-speaking skilled workers for residency cards.

File image of Donald Trump. AP

File image of Donald Trump. AP

If passed by the Congress and signed into law, the legislation titled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act could benefit highly-educated and technology professionals from countries like India.


The RAISE Act would scrap the current lottery system to get into the US and instead institute a points-based system for earning a green card. Factors that would be taken into account include English language skills, education, high-paying job offers and age.

"The RAISE Act will reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. It will do this by changing the way the US issues Green Cards to nationals from other countries. Green Cards provide permanent residency, work authorisation, and fast track to citizenship", Trump said at a White House event to announce his support to the RAISE Act.

This competitive application process will favour applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy, he said, adding that the RAISE Act prevents new migrants and new immigrants from collecting welfare, and protects US workers from being displaced.

"That's a very big thing. They're not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare. That doesn’t happen under the RAISE Act. They can't do that. Crucially, the Green Card reforms in the RAISE Act will give American workers a pay raise by reducing unskilled immigration,” he said.

Trump said this legislation will not only restore America's competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.

Noting that the current over a half-century old system is "an obsolete disaster", Senator Cotton said that it is time for it to change.


In fact, only one in 15 out of a million new immigrants come here because of their job skills and their ability to succeed in this economy, Cotton said.

According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the higher entry standards established in this proposal will allow authorities to do a more thorough job reviewing applicants for entry, therefore protecting the security of the US homeland.

The additional time spent on vetting each application as a result of this legislation will also ensure that each application serves the national interest, he observed.

"The American people deserve a lawful immigration system that promotes our national interest. The RAISE Act would give us a more merit-based immigration system that admits the best and the brightest around the world while making it harder for people to come here illegally,” Sessions said.

"The bill would end programme known to be rife with fraud and abuse and finally improve the vetting process, making our country and working class wages much safer and stronger," said the attorney general.


Published Date: Aug 03, 2017 10:21 am | Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 10:21 am



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