August 20, 2019
Latest News

Trump to propose merit-based immigration reform to the US

By Lucia Leal.

Washington DC, May 15 (efe-epa).- The United States president Donald Trump on Thursday is due to unveil a long-awaited proposal on immigration, one of the key issues that his successful 2016 presidential campaign was built on.

He is expected to request more funds to build a fence along the border with Mexico and to introduce language and other aptitude tests as part of a "merit-based" immigration system that moves selection criteria away from family ties or humanitarian concerns.

After several failed attempts at immigration reform in his first two years in office, Trump has decided to focus on redesigning the legal immigration system, without addressing the situation of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US or the limbo in which the so-called "Dreamers" (people who were brought to the US as children) are stuck.

The status of the "Dreamers" has been a major bipartisan sticking point, and contributed to a congressional impasse last year which led to the longest US government shutdown in history.

As his proposal will not address the status of these "Dreamers", Trump is unlikely to gain much support from Democrats, although he is sure to enjoy strong support from the Republican party for his suggested immigration reforms.

“Our goal in the short term is to make sure that we are laying out what the president’s policy is in terms of what he’s looking for from immigration reform, and we would like to see if we could get the Republican Party to come together on these two pillars, which we think is a very, very logical, very mainstream point of view,” a senior US official, who asked to remain anonymous, said Wednesday at a White House briefing with a group of media outlets, including EFE.

The plan would keep intact the number of permanent residence permits - known as Green Cards - issued by the United States each year; 1.1 million were issued in 2017.

But if Congress approves the proposal, those permits would begin to be granted mostly for reasons related to the immigrants' professional specialization or levels of educational rather than for family or humanitarian reasons, the official said.

This would entail the US subjecting prospective immigrants to the country who want to become citizens to a "citizenship" test and would judge their "merit" based on several criteria, including their level of English, their level of education, their age or whether they have a job offer.

Although the US does not have an official language, the White House believes that those who aspire to achieve a Green Card should master the language most widely used in the country and denies that this would exclude immigrants from Latin America or Africa.

Trump linked the arrival of undocumented or less qualified immigrants to criminality again on Wednesday, even though there is no data to support that assertion.

"I don't think most countries are giving us their finest. Do you agree? And that's what's happening. And it's causing tremendous problems with crime and other things," Trump said in a speech to relatives of deceased police officers.

His plan aims to increase the proportion of immigrants who obtain permanent residence because of their talent, their studies or their work from the current 12 percent to 57 percent, while reducing those who achieve that status through family ties from 66 percent to 33 percent.

It also seeks to reduce the number of people who obtain a Green Card for humanitarian reasons or for the promotion of diversity from the current 22 percent to 10 percent.

The project would end the "Diversity Visa Program," a 1990 program that randomly allocates up to 50,000 visas a year to citizens of countries that traditionally have low rates of migration to the US, a policy that primarily benefits Africans.

The official said that the new system would encourage an even more diverse origin of immigrants than the current lottery, although he did not explain how.

He also said the plan would create an accelerated process for resolving legitimate asylum claims, without giving more details. For months, the White House has been considering ways to limit the ability of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are from Central America, to seek refuge in the US once they reach the border with Mexico.

The text of Trump's legislative proposal will not be made public on Thursday, but "later," although the goal is to approve it before the 2020 presidential election, the official said.

Ilb/igx/uw/ks

News history
US congresswoman asks that US attach conditions to its economic aid to Israel

Washington DC, Aug. 19 (efe-epa).- Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of the United States, one of the lawmakers who recently got barred from entering Israel,...

Twitter: China has mounted campaign to delegitimize Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Twitter on Monday said that it had uncovered a coordinated effort by 936 accounts originating in China to delegitimize the...

Hong Kong government announces platform for dialogue amid protests

Hong Kong, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong's chief executive on Tuesday announced the immediate creation of a platform for dialogue involving people from all...

Bangladesh says its ready to start Rohingya repatriations

Dhaka, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Bangladesh said Monday it would be ready to start the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar on 22 August, nearly two years...

Focus is on Macri's goals, Argentina's incoming finance minister says

Buenos Aires, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Incoming Argentine Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza said Monday that he could not discuss the details of his meeting with...

NYPD fires cop blamed for death of Eric Garner

New York, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The head of the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced Monday the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in the...

Bardem: If 30 pct. of oceans not protected in 2030, damage to be irreversible

By Alvaro Celorio

The world is at work on a treaty to protect the oceans

United Nations, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Countries of the United Nations set out this Monday to perfect an ambitious treaty to protect the biodiversity of the...

US gives China's Huawei another 90-day reprieve on sanctions

Washington, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that the US government would give China's Huawei Technologies another 90-day...

Taliban marks 100 years of independence

Kabul, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The Taliban on Monday marked its hundredth anniversary of independence from Afghanistan by reiterating that foreign troops are to...

NGO boat still awaiting safe port as tensions run high aboard

Rome, Aug 19 (epa-efe).- An NGO-operated rescue vessel with 107 migrants on board which has been stranded at sea for 18 days and has been repeatedly denied...

Pro-independence protests in Indonesia's Papua region turn violent

Jakarta, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Pro-independence demonstrations took a violent turn in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua Monday during protests...

Main corruption trial against former Malaysian prime minister postponed

Bangkok, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- A court in Malaysia on Monday postponed by a week the start of the trial against a former prime minister for his alleged role in...

China urges Trump to keep his word, allow business with Huawei in US

Beijing, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Beijing on Monday urged Donald Trump to keep his word and allow companies in the United States to do business with Chinese tech...

8,000 evacuated due to wildfire in Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Some 8,000 people have been evacuated from several areas of Spain's Gran Canaria Islands due to a...

Trump acknowledges US' interest in buying Greenland from Denmark

Washington DC, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday said that Greenland was strategically interesting for his country, although...

Trump defends China policy, says US economy is world's best

Washington, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his strategy versus China, on whose goods Washington has imposed heavy tariffs as...

Colombian ex-ministers: Peace is being fired upon from many angles

By Juliana Alejandra Franco and Ovidio Castro

Migrant rescue ship demands entry to Lampedusa

(Update 1: Adds details)

Open Arms continues stranded with 107 migrants on board

Madrid, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The Spanish government has on Sunday offered the “Open Arms” migrant rescue vessel the possibility of docking at the southern...

Kashmir residents denounce high number of detentions in region

By Shah Abbas

An anti-government rally in Hong Kong

By Shirley Lau

Lacunza to be Argentina's new treasury minister as Dujovne quits

Buenos Aires, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Mauricio Macri said Sunday that Hernan Lacunza "is the right person" to replace former Finance Minister Nicolas...

Portland remains under strict police guard awaiting extremist demonstrations

Washington, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The city of Portland, Oregon, remained this Saturday under strong police guard after far-right and left-wing extremist groups...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.