Speaking to the press in the White House’s Rose Garden, President Trump introduced his plan for sweeping immigration reform on Thursday.
The president said the new reforms act counter to Democrats, who are “proposing open borders, lower wages and, frankly, lawless chaos.”
“We are here on this beautiful spring day to unveil our plan to create a fair, modern & LAWFUL system of immigration for the U.S. If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our Nation and the envy of the modern world,” Trump tweeted along with a video of his speech.
The new proposal by the president suggests that the majority of immigrants should come into the country based on merit and skill and it argues that lottery selections are “contrary to American values.”
“Our plan achieves two goals,” said the president. “First, it stops illegal immigration and fully secures the border … second, it establishes a new and legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world.”
President Trump also doubled down on his plan to finish building a physical border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Trump said the new proposal secures “a permanent and self-sustaining border security trust fund.” The president said money for the fund will be generated from “fees and revenue” earned at the border and through streamlined trade.
“We’re already building the wall and we should have close to 400 miles built by the end of next year and probably even more than that. It’s going up very rapidly,” Trump added about the border wall.
The president emphasized that the United States is still a “welcoming” country. He said the new proposal makes no change to the number of green cards given out each year. The difference is that now people will earn green cards through showing merit and skill, rather than due to random chance.
Trump said visas will be awarded based on a points system. Points will be awarded based on the value someone can add to the country. For instance, a younger worker earns more points than an older one. You also get more points if you can offer a valuable skill, have an offer of employment, advanced education or a plan to create jobs.
Before the president’s speech in the Rose Garden, Democrats were already turning against his new immigration proposal. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the press that the merit-based immigration system being proposed by the president is “despicable demagoguery.” She also said the plan is “condescending.”
No matter where one falls in the immigration debate, there is no denying that concern over border security and illegal immigration were some of the main things that got Trump elected. While other politicians ignored the broken immigration system, Trump made it front-and-center in his campaign. He recognized a problem that is now at the center of political debate.
The trouble with Pelosi and other Democrats going after Trump’s sweeping reforms is that they present no solid plan of their own. They deny that they are for open borders, but they are never able to acknowledge that there is a problem, so they never present a solution.
Whether you like Trump’s solutions or not, he’s the only one bringing anything significant to the table in this debate.
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