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Home / US / Trump's plan for a citizen test for legal newcomers could keep high-skilled immigrants out, according to experts

Trump's plan for a citizen test for legal newcomers could keep high-skilled immigrants out, according to experts



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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.


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