President Donald Trump repeatedly referenced other countries’ immigration systems as models for the US to emulate during a White House announcement on an immigration proposal, including Canada’s merit-based admissions systems several times.
However, in contrast to Trump’s call to reduce the number of asylum claims the administration deems are fraudulent as part of the plan, Canada and Australia, another country whose immigration system he cited, led the world with the number of refugees resettled per capita in 2017, a Pew report on UN data notes.
And by January of this year, Maclean’s reported that the UN data show Canada and European Union surpassed the US in the total number resettled refugees.
The US has historically led the world in the total number of refugee resettlements, but has been on a steep, consistent decline in admissions since the start of the Trump administration. There is a 30,000 refugee resettlement cap for FY 2019.
President Trump called for a “major update” to the US immigration system on Thursday, announcing a plan to boost “merit-based” immigration.
‘Merit-based’ immigration means using individuals’ skills to decide whether they should be allowed to immigrate.
Trump says the plan will use a point system.
Countries like Australia and Canada have skills-based systems.
This isn’t the first time Trump has said he wants it.
Immigrant rights advocates are already sounding alarm bells.
President Trump just announced plans to replace existing green cards with a new “Build America Visa.”
Trump went on to describe the new immigration selection system he hopes to see implemented, which would include a new points-based system. He said migrants will be required to learn English and pass a civics exam.
“You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net. You will get more points for having a valuable skill and offer of employment and advanced education or a plan to create jobs,” Trump said.
He added: “Priority will also be given to higher wage workers, ensuring we never undercut American labor. To protect benefits from American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient. Finally, to promote integration, assimilation and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission.” ( CNN / IM )