Lindsey Graham proposes strict immigration bill amid border crisis

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 16, 2019

US President Donald Trump will roll out a new plan to change US immigration laws in order to increase the number of high-skilled migrants entering the United States and to grant entry based on a point-based system, the Washington Examiner reported. On Thursday, Trump is expected to deliver a speech in which he proposes an overhaul of the US immigration system, including the number of immigrants accepted, development of a wall between the USA and Mexico and how visas are granted.

While its chances of approval by Congress seem distant, the plan will give Republicans an outline they can say they favor as Trump and lawmakers look toward the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections, where immigration will likely be a key issue. But many outside the administration believe the White House might be open to an eventual deal that could include new protections for that group.

But it will not address what to do about the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the USA, nor will it include new guest-worker programs businesses want to keep a flow of foreign labor.

The bottom line politically, said the administration official: "We want to show the country that Republicans are not against immigrants".

The president has scheduled an afternoon speech from the White House Rose Garden where he will make his pitch. But far more would go to exceptional students so they can remain in the country after graduation, professionals and people with high-level and vocational degrees.

In briefings Wednesday that attracted dozens of journalists, administration officials said the plan would create a points-based visa system, similar to those used by Canada and other countries. "He got a very warm reception", the source said.

Democrats have not been consulted on the formulation of this plan.

The plan, which the White House teased last week, will also address some of Mr. Trump's security demands.

Nor does it deal with the "Dreamer" children of immigrants in the country illegally or immigrants in the country under Temporary Protected Status, both of whom are priorities of Democratic lawmakers.

"A plan that forces families apart, limits access to asylum and other humanitarian relief, and doesn't contemplate a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other undocumented community members is clearly a political stunt meant to posture rather than problem-solve", she said. A PowerPoint presentation shared with reporters Wednesday referred to the plan as "The Republican Proposal", even though many GOP members had yet to see it.

Graham, who is close to Trump, rolled out his own proposal Wednesday to address a recent flood of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border. "I'm just asking the president to encourage Democrats to work with us".

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