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On May 16, 2019, President Trump proposed a new immigration system in which over half of all green cards would be allotted to highly educated and skilled immigrants and their families. Under the President’s proposal, the number of green cards approved each year would remain at 1.1 million, the same as now. However, the percentage of employment-based green cards would rise from 12% to 57%.

The President stated:

“Under the senseless rules of the current system, we’re not able to give preference to a doctor, a researcher, a student who graduated number one in his class from the finest colleges in the world — anybody. We’re not able to take care of it. We’re not able to make those incredible breakthroughs. If somebody graduates top of their class from the best college, sorry, go back to your country. We want to keep them here.

Companies are moving offices to other countries because our immigration rules prevent them from retaining highly skilled and even, if I might, totally brilliant people. We discriminate against genius. We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore, once we get this passed. And we hope to get it passed as soon as possible.

Some of the most skilled students at our world-class universities are going back home because they have no relatives to sponsor them here in the United States. And that’s the only way. We want these exceptional students and workers to stay, and flourish, and thrive in America.”

This is certainly a welcome surprise since, in the past, the President had endorsed the RAISE Act which would have reduced immigration to the U.S. by 50%.

The details of the President’s plan remain vague. He called for the implementation of a points-based system similar to that of Canada, Australia and New Zealand and for certain English-language requirements. Wouldn’t employer sponsorship be better?

He did not explain what he planned to do about DACA, TPS or the 4 ½ million people waiting in line for green cards. His speech emphasized border security and derided asylum seekers.

The President did not discuss his Administration’s harsh treatment of applicants for temporary working visas nor the need for an independent Immigration Court system.

As a result, most Democrats dismissed his proposals as “dead on arrival”.

I understand. Nevertheless, the President’s praise of immigrants and the paragraphs of his speech cited above are music to my ears and, hopefully, to yours!