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Trump’s Immigration Plan Emphasizes Skills over Family Connections

The plan will bolster border security and create a merit-based system

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Trump in a March tweet accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of being "on the side of the Radical Left Democrats". VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his long-awaited proposal on immigration Thursday, a plan that aims to move the immigration approval process away from family-ties and humanitarian needs.

In a briefing to reporters ahead of Trump’s scheduled afternoon remarks at the White House Rose Garden, a senior administration official said the plan will bolster border security and create a merit-based system, insisting that it is a “competitiveness issue.”

Trump’s proposal would keep the number of green cards or permanent residency issued around 1.1 million annually, but will change the focus of how they would be allocated, prioritizing highly skilled and educated individuals with employment or investment prospects rather than family ties to U.S. citizens or humanitarian needs.

Currently, 12% of immigrants are given permission to come to the U.S. based on their skills, and 66% because of their connection to family already in the country legally. Under the plan, 57% of immigrant visas will be given to individuals with skills or offers of employment, and only 33% to people with family ties. Visas given based on humanitarian needs will be reduced from 22% to 10%.

trump, plan, skills, family
FILE – A girl waves the Venezuelan flag during a visit to bid goodbye in her grandparents’ house, before her move to the U.S. after winning the green card lottery, in Valencia, April 6, 2014. VOA

The economic justification for eliminating or drastically reducing family-sponsored immigration is questioned by immigration analysts.

David Bier of the libertarian CATO Institute said that nearly half of family-sponsored immigrants have college degrees, a much higher rate than U.S.-born adults.

“The vast majority of U.S. legal immigrants are family-sponsored, yet the U.S. immigrant population works at higher rates than the U.S.-born population,” he said.

Bier said that adding more skilled immigration would benefit the United States but “there is no justification for that coming at the expense of family reunification.”

The plan will completely eliminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa program also known as the green card lottery, currently annually given to 50,000 people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The Build America Visa

The administration official described the heart of the proposal as the “Build America Visa,” with three main streams: “extraordinary talent; professional and specialized vocations; and, exceptional students.”

English fluency will be included as a factor determining whether an individual will be granted permanent residence.

“Language ability is a strong indicator of long-term economic success, not only for the initiating immigrant but for their children,” said the administration official, stressing that the merit-based system will lead to more diversity instead of reduce it.

Also Read- WhatsApp Breach Has Huge Privacy Implications, Say Experts

Immigration scholar Rick Su from the University of Buffalo disagrees.

“Depending on how that is measured, this will likely lead to less diversity,” he said. “There are a number of very talented individuals working in the U.S. now, and doing quite well, that would likely have less English language proficiency than those from Anglophone countries.”

David Bier pointed out that a points-based system would be dominated by the largest developing countries in the world, mostly Indians and Chinese.

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” he said. “I see no economic or moral reason to select immigrants on the basis of their place of birth.”​

Dreamers ‘not contemplated’

The plan, developed by a team led by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, is unlikely to receive support from Democrats, as it does not address the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the so-called “Dreamers,” immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

trump, plan, family, skills
FILE – Immigrant rights supporters gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 26, 2017. VOA

The White House said Dreamers “are not being contemplated at this time” and acknowledged that the plan is just the first step in the process of an immigration overhaul, including in terms of rallying Republican support behind it.

The Trump administration attempted to end the Obama-era DACA program in 2017 and went through several legal challenges. The Supreme Court in January took no action on the Trump administration’s request to review DACA. This means the fate of the program, and its 70,000 recipients will not likely be determined until the court begins its new term in October.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Republican Senator Susan Collins also expressed reservations, saying “I am concerned about the fate of the DACA young people, and they cannot be excluded from any immigration package.”

Overhauling the nation’s immigration law has been an issue of contention between Republicans and Democrats for years. The battle has intensified since 2016 when Donald Trump ran for office on a pledge to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico to keep out migrants entering the country illegally. (VOA)

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Do You Have the Life Skills You Need?

Here are the skills required to become successful

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Life skills
You need to develop certain life skills to lead a happy lifestyle. Lifetime Stock.

What are the most important things in life? If you answered staying safe, getting an education, maintaining good health, finding a long-term partner, learning to handle money, acquiring basic cooking skills and knowing how to shop for basic items, then you are in agreement with experts on the topic. They listed those activities as being among the most important for adults in the modern era.

That doesn’t mean there are no other skills we should try to acquire, only that those are considered the core areas of knowledge for getting by in today’s world. Here’s a bit more detail about each one:

Fund Your Education

If you make it through high school in one piece, it’s time to face the challenge of college if you want to maximize your potential income. For the huge majority of prospective university students, those four years can quite expensive. Savings, work-study, grants and scholarships usually aren’t enough to cover the entire cost. The solution is getting a student loan. Borrowing money for higher education is a ‘good’ kind of debt. It allows people to increase their lifetime earning potential and should far outweigh the costs of interest in paying back the loan.

Finding mate skills
Finding a partner can help you develop skills in life. Lifetime Stock

Budget, Cook and Shop

In terms of daily living, psychologists and consumer counselors agree that learning how to make a budget, how to cook simple means and how to shop for necessary items are three related pieces of a skill set called living from day to day. It’s important to not only earn money but understand how to spend it wisely. That’s what budgeting is all about. After deciding where funds should go, responsible adults need to know how to buy food and prepare it for themselves. The budgeting-shopping-cooking skill set is perhaps the most basic of all.

Defend and Preserve Your Life

In order to survive in the world, people should know the rudiments of self-preservation and defense, even if that consists of nothing more than knowing how to run and when to call 911. Defense is not necessarily about fighting, experts say, it’s about survival. Defending yourself might mean getting out of a dangerous place, summoning help or not walking on dark streets.

Health skills
You need to maintain your health by being physically and mentally fit. Lifetime Stock

Maintain Your Health

Staying physically and mentally healthy is at the very root of survival. It’s important to visit a doctor regularly, understand basic nutritional principles, have first-aid skills and stay in good shape. This life skill includes maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. It also means avoiding poisons like tobacco, refraining from dangerous behaviors like drinking alcohol to excess and staying out of the sun in order to minimize the risk of skin cancer.

Find a Mate

People who are good at making social connections seem to be able to find life partners easily. But that’s not the case for about 75 percent of the population, according to social scientists.

Also Read- People Who Find Meaning in Their Lives Are Healthier and Happier: Study

For most of us, it takes a while to develop the social skills to find someone with whom we want to spend the rest of our lives. Perhaps that’s why websites that teach dating skills are among the most popular of all.