On Thursday (May 16), President Donald Trump unveiled a new plan to increase border security and reform the legal immigration process.
The plan, which already faces opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, was designed with input from law enforcement and border security professionals. It would create a self-sustaining border security trust fund that would be financed by fees generated at the border. That money would be used to update current technology and infrastructure used at border checkpoints to create a “100 percent operationally secure” border, according to the President.
The bill seeks to overhaul current immigration and asylum law. “Legitimate asylum-seekers are being replaced by those lodging frivolous claims; these are frivolous claims to gain admission into our country,” the President stated. He also said that his bill would “humanely reunite unaccompanied children with their families back home.”
Under the President’s plan, the current green card system would be replaced with a new “Build America Visa.” The selection process for the new visa would include a points-based merit system that prioritizes:
- Younger workers
- Workers with a “valuable skill”
- Those with an existing offer of employment
- Applicants with an advanced education
- Applicants with a plan to create jobs
Immigrants would also be required to learn English and pass a civics exam before being allowed into the country.
“Under the current system, only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill or based on merit,” Trump claimed, stating that his plan would increase that number to 57 percent or more.
The plan hasn’t yet received clear backing from congressional Republicans. On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced his own legislation that would change part of the asylum process, telling CNN that “the White House’s plan is not designed to become law.”
However, the President seemed to disagree with that sentiment, saying during his speech that “if for some reason” the law can’t be passed quickly, “We will get it approved immediately after the election when we take back the house, keep the Senate, and of course, hold the Presidency.”
“One of the reasons we will win,” the President noted, referring to the 2020 election, “is because of our strong, fair, and pro-America national unity and national purpose.”
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her work has been featured in publications such as The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others.