Trump Immigration Plan Emphasizes Immigrants’ Skills Over Family Ties – The New York Times

Officials said half of the plan dealt with the system of visas that allowed about one million people to enter the United States legally each year.

Currently, about 12 percent of those immigrants qualify to enter based on their skills, while more than half are given permission to enter because of a family connection. Under Mr. Trump’s proposal, those numbers would be reversed, with nearly 60 percent of all visas going to immigrants with particular skills or offers of employment.

That reversal would increase the overall education level of immigrants, the officials said, with nearly three-quarters of those migrating to the United States having bachelor’s degrees or an advanced degree under the new Trump plan. It would also increase the average salary for immigrants to $96,000 from $43,000, they said.

Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, hammered the president’s proposal in an article in National Review, saying it did not go far enough to shrink overall numbers and would be a disappointment to voters who thought that Mr. Trump would fight to keep out immigrants who compete with them for jobs.

The president’s plan is “out of touch with the president’s base,” Mr. Krikorian wrote on Tuesday. “The proposal will not include any reduction in the overall level of legal immigration, not even a symbolic one.”

The other half of Mr. Trump’s plan calls for cracking down on illegal immigration, mostly at the southern border. Officials did not disclose specifics but said it would deal with the huge influx of families at the border by enacting measures to make it harder to claim asylum and giving authorities the power to hold families in detention for longer periods.

It would also provide resources for the construction of “physical barriers” at 33 key places along the border that law enforcement officials say are known crossings for drug dealers and human traffickers. Mr. Kushner and other White House officials, including Mr. Miller, briefed Republican senators on the broad outlines of the plan on Tuesday.

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