The decision from the Trump Administration to propose an increase in the merit-based legal immigration to 57% from the existing 12% is exciting to many who have been waiting for their Green Cards or Permanent Legal Residency. This reform proposal will significantly increase the quota for skilled workers and professionals. The Trump administration sees it as a win-win situation, as this raise in the merit-based immigrants is expected to create more than $500 billion in tax revenues over ten years.
What is Merit-based Immigration Policy?
Merit-Based immigration policy is a policy that determines the eligibility of an individual to immigrate based on the points scored on various factors such as education, age, wealth, and English fluency, etc. The merit-based or point-based immigration system already exists in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. However, the criteria for immigration eligibility may vary from one country to another.
Immigration Criteria in the newly proposed Merit-based Immigration Reform
The new immigration reform that the Trump Administration has proposed prioritizes the high-skilled workers over the people with existing family links while granting eligibility. The immigrants are required to learn English and also pass a civics exam to get the admission.
The major factors that result in the eligibility are the education level, wealth, willingness to invest capital in the US, age, and fluency in the English Language. This policy gives additional points to immigrants who hold Olympic Medals and Nobel Prizes.
Benefits of the New Merit-Based Immigration
The new merit-based immigration reform proposed by the US government decides to compete with the peer countries like Canada and Australia, by replacing the outdated immigration system that allows only about 12% immigrants to become legal immigrants through merit-based system currently to 57%. It is said to attract more meritorious people with high-skills and have around half of the immigrants based on family and humanitarian grounds.
This decision is expected to create over $500 billion in tax revenues to the government by changing the composition that forms the immigrants’ population. Also, this new immigration proposal is believed to support safe and legal immigration while acting against illegal and random migrations.
The raise in the merit-based immigration to 57% is only a proposal from the Trump Administration and needs to be approved in the White House. The opponents have been expressing their reservations in the new reform siting that it does not reduce the overall immigrants’ numbers and also claim it is just a repackaging of the old policy. However, many critics have argued the decision as welcoming.