Is Donald Trump’s new immigration plan good or bad?: America is planning a new point-based system, just like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to bring in highly skilled people into America. This means skilled workers will no more have to wait for years to get permanent status in the USA.
If everything goes as per plan, the Green card will soon be replaced with ‘Build America’ visa. Now a big question is who is going to gain and who is going to lose. I think the best way to understand the new scenario is to go through the existing immigration plan.
Existing Immigration program includes following categories:
- Family Sponsored immigrants(66%)
- Employement based immigration(12%)
- Diversity visas Program(5%)
- Other (6%)
Family Sponsored Immigrants: More than 700k people received legal status in the USA by applying through this particular category in the year 2017. In this category, anyone having parents, spouse or even siblings with citizenship or in some cases green card status can gain access to US green card.
Family Sponsored immigration is also referred to as “Chain immigration” (not officially) because once someone from your family gets green card or citizenship, he will pull the whole chain of relatives to the USA.
This particular category is going to lose its percentage in the new immigration system because this allows non-techincal or low skilled people to enter America who may become an unneccessary burden on the American economy.
2. Refugees(11%) : This category is continuously losing its percentage after Trump administration took over. In the year 2016 around 84k refugees were admitted, this number reduced to around 22k in the year 2018. This program was started in the year 1980 by Congress to allow those leaving their native countries to avoid prosecution or facing injustice.
Refugees admission has been caped 30k this year , because of security concerns, and may be reduced further in the coming years.
3. Employment based immigration(12%): The new system will eliminate a green card for investors, who invest to immigrate, under schemes like EB5 visa. These investors intend to invest to create new businesses and directly creating jobs, but the new system will benefit those having special skills to get a green card on the point basis.
4. Diversity visas: The main purpose of this category is to grant green card to under represented nations. For example, very few people move to the USA from the countries like Singapore or Bhutan, on the other hand, a large number of people from countries like Mexico, China, India, move to the USA, so these countries were excluded from this program.
This program is also known as ‘Visa Lottery’ and around 50k people receive green card every year, by applying under this scheme.
5. Other(6%): Many people get permanent residence under different circumstances, which cover up the remaining 6% quota.
Now, let’s discuss a few of the important categories which will be directly affected by the new system:
H1-B Visa Holders: New point based system will help skilled workers from countries like India to get permanent status faster. As the new system will eliminate cap based on the countries, which restrict highly qualified Indians earlier.
The skilled category will get 57% share in the new upcoming system against the present share of 12% only.
But those who are already waiting for years for their green card may be thrown out of the line.
Yes, they may be asked to apply again, under the new system, for which they may not qualify, as this system is point based. Just like the Canadian point system which considers age, skill, qualification and many other factors to build a score that finally decides the immigration status, some candidates may not get the required points.
2. Family based immigration category: As discussed earlier this category consumes maximum seats, but in the new system, this may be eliminated from the system. So, as far as a percentage is concerned, this category will be affected most by the new system.
Another important part point is the elimination of country based quota, this will help people from India, to get the maximum number of entries in the new system, which were earlier restricted by the 7% quota per country.
In the end, I’d say Donald Trump’s new immigration plan of America will help skilled workers no doubt but may create problems for those waiting for the green card for such a long time. On the other hand, it will help America to attract highly skilled labour to their country which will help them build a stronger nation.