1. The new proposals favourable to Indian immigrant hopefuls who are young, well-qualified, highly-skilled, fluent in English
2. Trump also called for establishing a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards
- 3. New proposals makes it difficult for parents and extended family to accompany eligible immigrants to US
WASHINGTON: Want to immigrate to the United States taking your high qualifications and considerable skills with you? You’ll be in luck under the new merit-based immigration system proposed by the Trump administration.
Spouses and minor kids will be good to eventually join you, but if you want to bring your parents, adult children, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, you are going to be disappointed. Uncle Sam, or Uncle Trump, wants to shut that door on them.
In far-reaching immigration reform proposals that were relayed to the Congress on Monday, US President Trump proposed ending extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children, while replacing it with a ‘merit-based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family connections.’
Trump also called for establishing a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially, while eliminating the “Diversity Visa Lottery,” which limited Indian immigration.
Diversity visa lottery broadly makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low rates of immigration in the five years prior. This favors smaller countries vis-a-vis countries with large pool of immigrant hopefuls such as India, China, and Mexico.
The new proposals are broadly favorable to Indian immigrant hopefuls+ who are young, academically well-qualified, highly-skilled, fluent in English etc., although they will have to jump through many hoops involving due diligence and meeting several criteria, including wage requirements, before snagging the Green Card.
But the ‘bad news’ is it will virtually eliminate any prospect of aging parents and extended family immigrating to the US.
Whether the proposals, which have to be codified into law by Congress, will be favorable to India or not is a matter of where you stand. It could facilitate high-skilled, youthful immigration to US resulting in what some might see as a brain-drain.
A counterview is the Indian-American constituency in the US will grow, possibly giving New Delhi greater diplomatic and economic heft, although that is a matter of conjecture and how US-India relations pan out.
In any case, the Trump administration wants countries of the world to keep their aged, infirm, and unskilled at home. It wants the world’s young, skilled, and healthy so that the healthcare and social security costs of its own aged and infirm can be subsidized.
The Trump proposals were immediately trashed by Democrats, whose political support base is also new-immigrant and minority-based, compared to the nativist support for Trump and his Republican constituency.
Liberal Democrats were particularly incensed that Trump was reneging on tentative proposals to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.+
In a conference call with reporters, White House officials described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign.
“Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end,” Trump said in his letter to the Congress.
The proposals, also including punishing visa overstays, beefing up border patrol, financial squeeze on sanctuary cities etc. Although the proposals do not mention the H-1B visa program, it calls for stricter verification of legal workers to ensure they are keeping to terms of their visa.