President Donald Trump called for a huge overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules to reduce the huge inflow of low-skill, welfare-dependent immigrants, but perhaps also to increase the inflow of productivity-boosting white-collar immigrants.
In his Feb. 28 speech to the joint session of Congress, he declared:
Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others –- have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon. According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.
Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families –- including immigrant families –- enter the middle class.
I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.
Trump’s proposed shift to “a merit-based immigration system” would reduce the inflow of unskilled migrants, but perhaps also raise the inflow of skilled migrants.
Two GOP Senators are also proposing a reduction in low-skill immigration and a rise in high-skilled immigration.
Any policy shift to reduce l0w-skilled migration would likely be opposed by Democrats, by Wall Street investors and by the many member companies in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, all of whom gain from the huge annual inflow of roughly 800,000 salary-cutting, welfare-spending unskilled migrants.