President Donald Trump unveiled a new immigration plan in the White House Rose Garden last week that would prioritize accepting immigrants with needed job skills or education over family-based migration. Trump’s plan would also increase border security and discourage false asylum claims.
Some denounced the plan as anti-family, while Republicans and Democrats expressed concern because the plan does not address children, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
But Reihan Salam, president of the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, said that with some slight changes, the president’s plan could become a unifying issue.
“Rather than reducing the number of green cards the U.S. grants every year, Trump is now calling for rebalancing admissions to ensure that a higher proportion of new immigrants are poised to achieve labor-market success,” Salam wrote in The Atlantic. “It is easy to see how a more refined proposal would prove broadly popular among conservatives and moderates, which is why the Trump White House would be wise to stay the course.”
Only a day earlier, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., proposed a bill that would also make major changes to the immigration system. Graham’s bill would increase the days the United States could hold migrant families from 20 to 100, and it would require migrants to apply for asylum from their home countries instead of at the U.S. border. The bill would also allow the United States to deport migrant children to their country of origin, as is the case with unaccompanied minors from Canada and Mexico. Graham designed the bill to close the loopholes in the current system that are drawing migrants from Central America.
Neither Trump’s plan nor Graham’s is expected to gain enough support from Democrats to become law. —C.C.