Donald Trump has once again pressed for a merit-based US immigration system owing to the truck attack in New York City. Trump had first given out this proposal in February this year. In his address to the US Congress, he had suggested the merit-based US immigration system. He was also appreciative of the points-based system of Australia and Canada.
So what does the US immigration system based on merit actually imply? How will it impact the residents in the US and what all will be its effects?
The single most impact will be on the family-based immigration to the US. The current family-based immigration system is also known as chain immigration. An immigrant in the US can sponsor their skids and spouse. It also includes the extended family members. As of now, the majority of the legal immigrants to the US arrive through family sponsorship.
The merit-based US immigration system will choose immigrants based on their age, language proficiency, work experience, skills, and education. The chief supporting argument in favor of immigration system based on merit is its positive impact on US economy. This is in case of highly skilled immigrants.
The family-based immigration system results in the intake of low skilled immigrants argue the opponents. It lowers the wages and extracts more from the economy than contributing to it. On the other hand, immigration system based on merit brings in highly qualified workers. It is more so in the Silicon Valley.
The immigrants with lower skills are chiefly employed in food, healthcare and hospitality sectors. Decreasing these immigrants will adversely impact these industries, as quoted by the Economic Times.
Supporters of merit-based US immigration system contend that skilled immigrants are easily assimilated into the US society. The reason is cultural awareness and proficiency in the English language.
Meanwhile, supports of family-based immigration argue that non-assimilation is also beneficial. This enhances the cultural diversity of the US society, they argue. Decreasing the immigrants in the family-based immigration category will have a huge impact. It will adversely influence most of the immigrant workers who can sponsor their family members.
Australia and Canada are the major developed nations with the points-based immigration system. Immigrant applicants are offered scores based on language proficiency, education, age etc.
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