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By Daniella Silva
President Donald Trump announced on Thursday a comprehensive immigration proposal that would change the way legal immigrants are admitted to the United States. The plan calls for a citizens' test, which, according to experts, is extremely unusual and could exclude highly skilled applicants from entry.
"This test is unnecessary at best and could look at some highly qualified, ambitious immigrants willing to be productive in America, whatever the test says," said Daniel Griswold, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center George Mason University and co-director of the Trade and Immigration Project. 19659006] "It could be an obstacle for very productive immigrants to become part of American society," he said.
Griswold and others said that while the details of Trump's proposal remain unclear, they never clarified such a requirement at this level in the immigration process. Such exams are usually part of citizenship tests, they said.
"It's like asking people to apply for citizenship upon arrival," said Theresa Brown, Director of Immigration and Cross-Border Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "It's a big deal to ask people from other parts of the world."
Trump's proposal would create a system that favors candidates who are highly skilled, well-educated and speak English, as well as having potential employment with family members. Immigration.
The White House estimates that 12 percent of those who receive a green card and citizenship do so on the basis of "employment and skills" while 66 percent do so through family-related connections and 22 percent through humanitarian visas and the Diversity Lottery enter. According to the new proposal, employment and skills would increase to 57 percent, 33 percent for families and 10 percent for everything else.
The proposal for a performance-based system focuses on what is known as the "Build America" visa. There are three categories: exceptional talent, professional and specialized occupations and exceptional students.
The US grants about 1.1 million green cards a year, even to those who already have a US visa. The administration said the number will not change, only the composition.
But Brown said that would depend on what the scoring system would look like.
"How many people would meet the new criteria and how many would you like to come to the US? ", she said. "They may or may not be able to keep the numbers the same."
The Trump administration has repeatedly praised so-called "performance-based" or point-based systems, such as Canada and Australia.
Immigration and economists said that these countries also absorb many refugees and give value to immigrant families already in those countries.
While the US has historically resettled more refugees than the rest of the world, this figure has steadily declined under the Trump administration. Canada and Australia are now leaders in the number of refugees admitted per capita.
Griswold claims to have compared the US, Canadian and Australian systems, stating that "the major differences are that Canada and Australia absorb significantly more people than relatives of the population. "
" They are more generous in receiving immigrants as part of their population, "he said.
He added his main concern to Trump's suggestion "It would interfere deeply with family-based migration."
Family-based migration has already attracted educated, highly skilled people, he said.
"In fact, the current influx of family-based migration and diversity." Lottery immigrants are better educated than the average American. "
" It's a myth that you either allow highly skilled immigrants or that we get low-skilled, poorly-educated immigrants from the family, "he said.
Brown added that the Canadian immigration system scores points for family ties
"Per capita, they allow more family members than the United States," she said.
Such point-based systems "Canada and Australia have found that there is a mismatch between the recognized workers and the actual needs "It's a top-down system where the government decides what kind of workers we need."
He added that the American economy would benefit from more highly skilled workers Become More Productive. "
Kate Hooper, Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said it was" worth noting that Australia and Canada, unlike the US, have parliamentary systems of government that could make it even harder for the US to update its system based on economic needs.
"The real question is how the US system is structured, so you can update the system regularly in the same way," she said. The status of immigrants illegally brought to the US as children is for The Democrats in Congress have a stranglehold, but on Thursday, Trump said if his plan was not adopted "for political reasons," he would work to get him to pass after the elections in 2020, when the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.