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Trump Unveils Major Legal Immigration Reform Proposal

Trump legal immigrationPresident Donald Trump introduced his administration’s proposal for a major overhaul of the legal immigration system on May 16, outlining a legislative package that would prioritize migration based on skill and merit.

The proposal doesn’t change the number of people who obtain permanent residency on an annual basis. The measure instead focuses on the kind of migrants eligible for permanent resident status, by shifting away from the random visa lottery and limiting the kinds of relations eligible for legal migration through family ties.

Trump proposed to replace the visa lottery system with a merit-based approach that is already being used in countries such as Canada and New Zealand. The new points-based system would rank candidates based on age, level of education, and technical skills. The system would award points for migrants who are qualified for high-wage jobs, have job offers in the United States, or have plans to create jobs in the country.

Future immigrants also will have to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency, knowledge of the English language, and pass a civics exam.

“Our proposal fulfills our sacred duty to those living here today while ensuring America remains a welcoming country to immigrants joining us tomorrow. We want immigrants coming in,” Trump said.

The proposal is calibrated to have a chance of passage in the House, where Democrats have obstructed every one of Trump’s immigration reforms. The president said that if the Democrats block the bill, he would work to pass the bill when Republicans reclaim the House in 2020.

“But wouldn’t it be nice to do it sooner than that?” Trump asked.

Democrats indeed criticized the plan on arrival. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the president’s plan “condescending.”

“Are they saying family is without merit? Are they saying most of the people who have come to the United States in the history of our country are without merit?” Pelosi said.

Trump said he is open to additional proposals from Democrats and called on them to abandon politics for the good of the country.

“Many Democrats have claimed to be for these concepts at different times in their careers. And in many cases, in very recent history,” Trump said. “I hope that they will end up joining me and all of the people gathered together today in putting politics aside, putting security and wages first, and pursuing these historic reforms. It’s time.”

Under the current legal immigration system, 12 percent of immigrants receive permanent residency status based on skill and merit. The new proposal aims to increase the skill-and-merit ratio to between 57 and 60 percent.

To allow for the increase in merit-based migration, the administration will restrict the kinds of relations eligible for immigration through family ties. In his speech, Trump said that spouses and children would be given priority, suggesting that parents and siblings of U.S. residents would no longer be eligible for legal immigration under the new proposal.

Approximately 1.1 million immigrants are granted permanent residency status in the United States on an annual basis. About two-thirds of the permanent residencies are granted based on the lottery system and through family ties. Permanent residents have a five-year path to citizenship.

“This is the most prized citizenship anywhere in the world by far,” Trump said.

The president made the announcement in the Rose Garden, in front of a large delegation of senior White House officials, heads of executive branch agencies, and lawmakers.

“It’s time to restore our national unity and reaffirm our national purpose. It is time to rebuild our country for all Americans. Together, we will create an immigration system to make America safer, stronger, and greater than ever before.”

In addition to reforms to the legal immigration system, Trump’s proposal includes measures to address the illegal immigration crisis on the southwest border. The measures include tougher vetting of asylum claims, and a comprehensive border security package, which includes funding based on fees collected at ports of entry and fixes to the legal framework that currently encourages illegal aliens to flood across the border.

“There is a crisis at our border and Congress needs to step up and act,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said on Twitter. “President Trump today outlined a vision for a secure nation, a secure border, and a secure American workforce with policies that remove the incentives for illegal immigration.

“It’s time we fix this problem.”

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Ivan Pentchoukov

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Frank S.

Great to see the president put out a plan that is full of common sense. Unfortunately, the Dems will do all in their power to block this plan, as they will not allow the president to chalk up another success. As we’ve all heard, the Dems hate of Trump “trumps” (pun intended) any love they may still have for our country. And because of this, I call their acts treasonous, and I do not use this word lightly. We must do whatever is necessary to get the House back under Republican control (and for the record, I am not a Republican…I am a conservative). When I see the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, and so many others, I am filled with contempt. I am a reasonable man, and as such I try hard to look at all sides and perspectives, but the positions of the “progressive” left are clearly un-American. They… Read more »


This legislation makes good sense, will be good for America, addresses some very persistent problems with the current system and responds appropriately to the needs of the American people. All of which will be disqualifying attributes when presented to our socialist controlled House.

What a shame.

Linda Hutson

Pelosi and the Democrats need to revisit the History Of Immigration: Immigration was based on merit, you had to prove you had a self supporting skill, enough money to sustain yourself and family for 6 months and not be a burden on society, have NO Communicable diseases, speak English and pass civics test! There’s a very good documentary of Immigration and Ellis Island, And Immigration Law, PBS! perhaps they should watch it, then have the unmitigated gall to call the President’s plan “ condescending “! Pelosi’s continued support of lawbreaking criminals and illegals her “Gifts of Love “ as she calls them is getting old, very OLD!?

Chic Ritzheimer

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” ( The 26th president: T. Roosevelt)


It sounds reasonable to me, allowing immigration based on what they “can do for our country, not for what our country can do” for them. A significant increase in the merit-based ratio will help the country prosper, instead of being a drag on government-funded resources.

Note: when listening to the video, click on the gear (daisy) icon, and click playback speed to 1.75 or 2 if time is precious. Even this old dog can learn new tricks.

Tom Wozniak

This is a great idea ..we have a great president!!!

Dan Zuverink

Why won’t these Democrats “work for the best of America”, an be a part of the solution, rather than a part of the PROBLEM?. PLEASE, VOTERS FROM ALL PARTS OF AMERICA make your VOTES Count for a stronger AMERICA, and a UNITED STATES of AMERICA. JUST KNOW that YOUR GOVERNMENT cannot be the Answer to all problems, and we EACH must do our BEST for this GREAT COUNTRY. AGAIN voters see what is happening in OUR House of Representatives. DZ

David Campbell

““Are they saying family is without merit? Are they saying most of the people who have come to the United States in the history of our country are without merit?” Pelosi said.

Translation: We plan to continue to demagogue the imigration issue and ruthlessly use immigrants, both legal and illegal, as pawns in our pursuit of political power.

If you hate The United States of America, vote for democrats.


demorats don’t like as it doesn’t create an open boarder for their voters

Rick J.

All we can do is thank the President for trying, but with out the disloyal oppositions support nothing will
happen. The disloyal “democraps” have proven beyond doubt that they will destroy the nation to make cheap political points.

Uncle willie

Trump is still doing a great job


Agree with his idea but all those here illegally must be removed and never allowed here again in anyway they proved they are criminals by breaking our laws so remove them and their families with them they have no right here those taking from a Taxpayers Money first then criminals that are in jail or prison next then get the rest of them and their families out of America don’t care what their countries say take them there and leave they are their countries problem not America’s


Sounds like a great plan. If the left had any sense they would agree with the plan.


This situation is getting confusing so lets make it really simple for the LEFTIST commies to understand. We figure the number of illegals at any given time in our country and deport that number of democrats, starting with their politicians, to make room for them. This may make it easier for the dems to comprehend what they are doing to this country! They of course can then like any other foreigner apply for citizenship to OUR country. Simple, right!


A reasonable plan. You can be sure Pelosi will sabotage it. She doesn’t exude reason or intelligence.

Thomas H.

Since this plan makes too much sense, the (d)s and their media will pronounce it DOA!

Anna Petrocelli

Let us hope that this is only the beginning. A beginning that will eliminate the loopholes that permit illegal immigrants to exploit our system by having a measure into the Social Security and our health care systems. We further need to be persistent and discourage politicians to dictate criminal activities just because of political affiliation and differences.


I’m a headhunter. This sounds wonderful. I know of many people that have finished college here, graduated with degrees that would qualify for high paying jobs (meaning pay lots in taxes) and there is virtually no chance of getting a job here. Now if we could shorten the 6+ year process and reduce the cost.


Build the wall! Go Trump Go 2020

Joseph M. DeMeo

Yes, it’s important to look at the problem of the border.