Trump Administration’s Push to Merit-Based Immigration System in 2018

The Associated Press reported on the Trump administration’s strategy to turn the public against the United States’ family-based immigration system in preparation for its agenda for a “merit-based” system in 2018. Already, the administration has executed its media campaign discrediting family-based immigration and there has been a concurrent increase in similar hostile messaging from anti-immigration groups.

The administration’s proposal to decrease family-based immigration would represent the most radical change to the US immigration system in 30 years. It would replace “chain migration,” whereby immigrants can sponsor their family members, and replace it with a points-based merit system that favors education and job potential.

This smear campaign to paint our current immigration system as dangerous and damaging to US workers, thereby instilling fear and rancor of immigrants in the public, is what is odious and deleterious – not our immigration system. The vilification of immigrants has been the fallback, since time immemorial, for xenophobes trying to distract the public from the real problems and issues of society. Globally and historically, such immigrant hostility has not only led to economic decline (as will happen with Brexit), intolerance and persecution.

Also, immigration is not a zero-sum game whereby we must take from on pot to add to another. The administration is ignoring the many benefits of family-based immigration, including enhanced integration and increased support networks, such as childcare. Also, we can and should be increasing immigration visa quotas so that foreign nationals can provide necessary labor to employers, create companies and jobs and boost our Social Security system.