American President Donald Trump has called for the implementation of a merit-based immigration system, similar to the ones used in countries like Australia and Canada.
During his first address to a joint session of Congress, the President the current US system of ‘lower-skilled’ legal immigration failed to protect workers and highlighted the Australian and Canadian systems.
“I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws,” the President said.
“It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon,” he said.
He said a merit-based system would save money, raise wages “and help struggling families – including immigrant families – enter the middle class.”
In a major department from his previous rhetoric regarding immigration, the President has even suggested he would be willing to compromise on his infamously hardline immigration stance. On the proviso that the opposition Democrats Party are willing to do the same.
“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” he was reported as telling a private meeting with national news anchors.
However, responding to the claims, many Democrats remain unconvinced that the President is willing to soften his controversial immigration stance.
“The only thing Donald Trump is interested in compromising is the United States Constitution,” said newly elected DNC chair Tom Perez, adding that Trump has painted immigrant families as criminals and floated mobilising 100,000 troops to act as a deportation force.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the immigrant community is “rightfully scared” of what President Trump has done so far regarding immigration.
“His executive order goes far beyond anything that anyone proposed. People are cowering. It’s going to hurt us economically — large numbers of people just aren’t going to show up to work and employers are going to start complaining.”
Article published 1st March 2017