Since the flood of migrants at the southern border developed into a crisis, the Democrats have downplayed the problem, ridiculing those who express concern that the issue might become unsolvable. But according to a recent study, the American public is not in agreement with the left and most wish for changes to our immigration system.
With President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that he will raise tariffs on products coming from Mexico due to the country’s inability – or unwillingness – to do its part to stem the flow of migrants to the southern U.S. border, it appears this public push for change might become further exacerbated. But if the results of a recent report are any indication, the public is more likely to support Trump’s approach than the Democrats’.
American Views on the Immigration System
A Rasmussen poll analyzed Americans’ opinions on the border crisis. The researchers asked two questions:
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement – ‘We have a perfect storm brewing at the border because of a series of broken and outdated laws related to asylum and children.’”
“The majority of immigrant visas awarded in the United States are based on a family relationship. A proposal has been made to award visas instead on the level of skills a potential immigrant brings to this country. Do you favor moving to a merit-based system for legal immigration or prefer to keep the existing family-based system?”
The first question references a comment made by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in a press release that followed the introduction of the Secure and Protect Act of 2019. Graham suggested that illegal immigrants are using children in order to enter and settle in the U.S.; the poll revealed that 55% of likely voters agreed with the senator, while only 24% disagreed. Rasmussen also found voters prefer President Trump’s proposed shift to a skills-based immigration system, which would award points to migrants based on the level of value they can bring to the country.
With another migrant caravan attempting to gain entry into the United States, immigration authorities – which are already overwhelmed – will soon have an even greater problem on their hands. The Trump administration has already been forced to release hundreds of families every day due to the “catch and release” practices necessitated by current immigration law.
Merit-Based Immigration Policies?
The White House recently released the details of a plan to implement a skills-based point system that would determine who is allowed to reside in the U.S. The objective is to create a more educated class of immigrants by increasing the number of visas to skilled workers from 12% to 57%.
If made into law, the “Build America” visa plan will also make changes to the asylum system, which now enables the majority of migrants to enter the country if they claim asylum. The existing policy allows migrants to remain in the country while their cases are being assessed. Under the proposed plan, authorities would separate out “meritless” asylum claims at the border.
Finally, the plan will also promote assimilation with requirements to learn English and pass a civics exam before being given a visa. The purpose is to ensure that the country only takes in immigrants who share American values.
Trump’s proposal will undoubtedly face spirited opposition when it is introduced in Congress. Not surprisingly, many on the left have derided the plan as racist. In a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “When the president says merit – turn it upside down. It means make America white again, have people leave, just go back and we’ll just let in people we like.”
The Democratic Party seeks to benefit from allowing primarily lower-skilled immigrants, who are more likely to take advantage of welfare programs that encourage government dependency. Perhaps because these individuals are more likely to support leftist candidates when the Democrats manage to give them the right to vote.
It is clear that the progressives will fight tooth and nail to preserve our broken immigration system because they stand to gain more political power. But it won’t just be the left that opposes such a change; Republican lawmakers who masquerade as conservatives will likely push back against the plan, to keep the Chamber of Commerce crowd happy. Either way, it is clear that any positive changes to the immigration system will travel a hard road before coming to fruition.
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