By Justin Gest, for Politico Magazine
President Donald Trump wants to overhaul the U.S. immigration system so that it stops favoring visa applicants with U.S. family ties, and instead gives priority to highly skilled applicants and those with job offers. The proposal is based on the assumption that immigrants’ educational credentials — what the administration calls “merit” — will lead to increased U.S. wages and immigrants who better integrate into U.S. culture.
Immediately after it was announced, the proposal drew criticism from all sides. Many Republicans don’t think it goes far enough to combat illegal immigration, while others on the right want total immigrant admissions to be cut. Many Democrats, meanwhile, don’t want to roll back the system’s humanitarian, family-oriented principles that have worked well over decades, and also want to resolve the status of America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The whole idea of “merit” is a lightning rod in a highly charged issue. But there’s a smarter way for both sides to think about who we let in, and why.
Photo: Intel Free Press