President Trump yesterday reiterated his call for a merit-based immigration system, citing the systems used by Australia and Canada as potential models to pursue.
The president posted a single tweet about his vision on Twitter, naming the book “Green Card Warrior” as a must-read.
A merit-based immigration system would prioritize employability and skills over family ties, according to The New York Times. While it’s unclear exactly what system President Trump favors in the U.S., Canada’s system awards immigrants points based on their employment background, financial means, language proficiency and educational background. The people who receive the most amount of points are prioritized for admission to Canada, the Times said.
As part of President George W. Bush’s effort to try to strike an immigration compromise in Congress, a points system was part of that proposal, but it hit a dead end in the Senate. The legislation would have given more points to education and skills than family ties, the Times noted.
In his address to Congress Tuesday night, President Trump spoke about a merit-based system.
“Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others –- have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon,” he said. “Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families –- including immigrant families –- enter the middle class.”