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Trump Administration Set To Announce Major Immigration System Overhaul

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The White House reportedly is planning to unveil a new immigration plan Thursday that would move the U.S. toward a more merit-based system like those in Canada and Australia.

Fox News reported 12 percent of immigrants are admitted into the country based on their employment qualifications, while 66 percent gain entry to the U.S. through their family connections.

“Three senior administration officials” revealed to Fox that under the new plan, the numbers would shift, with 57 percent obtaining a green card based on work and 33 percent through having family members already in the country.

Additionally, 10 percent would be admitted based on humanitarian grounds. The plan would entirely end the visa lottery program.

The “Build America Visa” program would prioritize people with “extraordinary talent” and “people with professional and specialized vocations,” including exceptional students.

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“Potential immigrants would be assessed using a point-based system, accounting for factors including age, English proficiency, whether each candidate has an offer of employment above a certain wage threshold, and educational and vocational certifications. Pledges to invest and create jobs also would be considered,” Fox reported.

President Donald Trump often has cited Canada and Australia as examples of countries that have such a merit-based system.

The administration noted that when Canada implemented this approach it resulted in “pooling” of immigrants from East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

In order to compensate, the Trump plan would add points to would-be immigrants from underrepresented countries.

Do you support changing U.S. immigration laws to be more merit-based?

Trump is slated to give a speech on immigration Thursday in which he will officially unveil the plan, which was largely drafted by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to Politico.

“I do believe that the president’s position on immigration has been maybe defined by his opponents by what he’s against as opposed to what he’s for,” Kushner said at the Time 100 Summit in New York City.

“What I’ve done is I’ve tried to put together a very detailed proposal for him,” he said.

Kushner indicated the administration wants to balance reunifying families and other humanitarian values with helping the U.S. remain competitive on the world stage.

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“We want to protect our country’s humanitarian values,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re reunifying families, and we want to do this in a way that allows our country to be competitive long term.

“And my hope is we can really do something that unifies people around what we’re for on immigration.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. permitted over 1.1 million people to immigrate to the country legally in 2017, which was on par with former President Barack Obama’s final year in office.

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