While India is in full swing of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, with the Modi government oscillating between life and death, the Donald Trump administration is up with its re-election campaign message, “Replace green cards with Build America Visa,” as part of its merit and points-based immigration policy for making America great again.
Yesterday, the White House unveiled a plan to revise the US immigration system with a host of new border security measures. The plan that hinges around President Trump’s emphasis on ‘Build America Visa’ seeks to toughen the eligibility norms for immigrants to the United States by increasing the educational standards and skills requirements.
The new Build America Visa plan asserts that there won’t be dearth of opportunities for immigrants who come with specific skill sets and certain educational accomplishments. Rather, they will be required to pass a high-level English proficiency test and a civics exam.
The plan that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a White House adviser, worked on for months, seeks to abolish the family-based immigration system that has enabled immigrants’ spouses, children and parents to sneak into the country for decades. Every year the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues almost 1.1 million green cards to foreign nationals and their dependents or immediate family members, allowing them to live in the United States and opening up a path to citizenship for them.
While unveiling the plan in the Rose Garden of the White House, Trump said, “We cherish the open door that we want to create for our country, but a big proportion of those immigrants must come in through merit and skill.” Increasing the quota for highly-skilled foreign nationals from 12 per cent to 57 per cent is one of the highlights of the proposed ‘Build America Visa’ plan.
President Trump’s new plan calls for the border wall construction to some extent, which Democrats have sternly opposed, and skips the provision for giving legal status to undocumented or illegal immigrants including those who were brought to the US as children, commonly known as Dreamer.
The White House plan seeks to bring in simple, universal criteria for entry to the USA and replace all green card categories with the Build America Visa which will abolish the lottery system in favor of the aforementioned universal criteria for skilled immigration to the country. Like Canada and other modern, developed countries, the US will have an ‘easy-to-navigate merit and points-based selection process under the Trump administration.
As per Trump’s vision of the Build America Visa, higher-wage professionals from foreign countries, irrespective of their caste, community and creed, will be given priority to ensure that only financially self-sufficient immigrants are allowed to live and work in the US, without posing threats to the American labor.
In his address at the White House, Trump rued that the current immigration system of the United States allows substitution of the American labor by foreign nationals seeking entry-level jobs. Instead of those with low skill profiles, who replace American workers, the system should let high-wage and high-skill-profile leaders in to generate employment for low-income Americans. He added that most of the green cards issued annually go to low-wage and low-skilled foreign workers.
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