On May 16, 2019, The Editorial Board of the NY Times published an article titled 'What’s Missing in Trump’s ‘Beautiful, Bold’ Immigration Plan'.
According to the Editorial, there are two things missing in this proposal:
1. The plan does not address how to deal with 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the US.
2. It also doesn't address the 1.8 million immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, currently protected under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
According to the article, Trump's plan is to implement a point system to determine eligibility. A merit based system and would include things like age, academic achievement and employment offers. The plan also would require knowing the English language and the ability to pass a civics exam before admission.
After finishing the article, I went to the 'Comment's' section to review what some readers thought about the article and Trump's new immigration proposal.
Here's a sampling of those comments and then my input regarding these comments:
Comment: "Trump’s plan of “bringing in highly skilled, high-wage workers” is bad news for struggling poor and middle income people, not to mention high school and college graduates. They will all have to complete with the new, improved immigrant. I suspect this will exacerbate incoming inequality."
I wouldn't exactly agree. For context, allowing a million skilled immigrants into our country per year is less than one third of one percent of our current population as our current population is approximately 327 million. Yes, a very small percentage of struggling poor and middle income people may be hurt but the number is very small. The commenter needs to add more context and perspective. With a comment like 'exacerbate income inequality', I see the need for the commenter to quantify what that would exactly look like.
Comment: "A brain drain from other countries."
Is this not hyperbole? Again, context is needed. Both India and China have a combined population of about 2.79 billion people and there are many educated people in those countries that want to live and work in the USA. If you take 1 million a year from both of these countries (which is a very high number and probably not realistic), you're taking 1 out of every 2790 residents each year from both countries. One is free to claim it's a 'brain drain' but rational analysis says otherwise.
Comment: "Why don't the democrats present an acceptable plan and gain political support going forward towards the 2020 elections? Bashing Trump is not a good strategy."
Agreed. Democrats in Congress can walk and chew gum simultaneously. I know they are currently investigating the Trump administration but that doesn't mean they can't make their own proposal. Use the Trump proposal and make updates to help represent their constituents. If it's bi-partisan, Trump will take credit for it but if both parties can somehow work together and engage in some compromise, both parties can claim success; have the executive and legislative branches made changes to fix our immigration policy.
Comment: "The world's 3 most populated nations do not need any more immigrants or economic migrants, certainly not 1 million per year uneducated and unskilled. #3 on that overpopulated nation list is the 330 million bloat that is now United States, behind only India and China."
Disagree. If this commenter had said the world doesn't need any more inhabitants, I'd agree. The size of our country is roughly the same size of China and they have more than 4 times the population. We can accommodate more people, just do it in a carefully planned manner. Besides, we need more younger skilled and unskilled immigrants to help bolster the tax base for social security and other social programs as the overall percentage of retirees in the USA is larger than ever before.
Comment: "If the entire family can't come, fewer skilled immigrants will come."
Agree, but to what extent would this be an issue? Regardless of our political struggles and many other issues our country needs to address, our prize possession is still the USA. There will always be skilled people from foreign lands wanting to come here with or without their family. In the late 19th and early 20th century, you had many single men coming here for a better opportunity and they sometimes came here alone, just wanting the chance to achieve the American dream. Indeed, there will be fewer skilled immigrants that will come, but how can one quantify 'fewer?' This proposal would still capture many skilled immigrants wanting to come here regardless of this more restrictive proposal by the Trump administration.
Comment: "This plan goes against what America has stood for over many decades. This is a country of immigrants, most of whom did not come here with what Trump wants. But their next generation and those thereafter did make this country great."
What worked in the past will not necessarily work in the future. The world is a much different place, there are so many more people in this world vis- à -vis the late 19th century. We can have an incentive based immigration system that can welcome a certain amount of workers. We should tighten our borders not only to the south but also to those who come on a visa and just stay here and attempt to assimilate. Why can't we partner with high tech companies to track visa holders and help design a better immigration system? If it's broken and we pass new laws, an inferior system is still inferior regardless of what new laws are passed. Perhaps the first step with immigration is fixing the system first.
Comment: "No other nation has open borders, nor should the US."
This is an interesting comment. Most Americans agree that the USA should not have open borders even though DJT claims the democrats want open borders which is a lie. If someone comes here from Mexico illegally, they should be sent back. Perhaps there should be a deterrent somehow where they have to work to pay for the cost of being sent back. If someone continues to come illegally, we have to ask ourselves if the system is partially broken. There has to be a greater risk for those who come illegally as a deterrent. Having said that, if someone is seeking asylum here, those people have to be properly and efficiently vetted to determine if they have a legitimate asylum case. We need to be more proactive about why these people are coming from central America. Does it at all have anything to do the past foreign policies of the USA? We can't just set up a system that's reactive, we need to do a thorough review on why there's so much violence in those countries, especially in Central America. Similarly, with climate change, the refugee crisis will worsen with droughts and other natural disasters. Does the administration have a program to address this?
One more comment pertaining to undocumented immigrants, companies that hire them have to be accountable too. Why is this rarely discussed? Is the Republican administration afraid of alienating those Chamber of Commerce Republicans? We throw shame on those undocumented immigrants but never put it into full context. Many small businesses are hiring them as many are unskilled and will accept a lower wage. Shame and fines need to be implemented against these companies too if we're genuinely against illegal immigration. Again, use that money to either beef up border control, help reform our immigration system or provide low cost skills training to Americans who lack valuable skills to compete in the 21st century.
Comment: "The areas of the world that have highly skilled, highly educated potential immigrants, that can speak English and can pass an American civics test, exclude the poorest countries that cannot offer the educational and skills opportunities required. Ignoring individuals qualifying as DACA recipients - many who speak English, are highly educated, and could pass an American civics test - demonstrates the narrow focus and cruelty of the immigration plan."
One idea is charging skilled immigrants and employers a certain fee whether they apply for citizenship or not. Perhaps increase that fee, I'm sure many corporations may pay that fee or subsidize this amount. At the same time, many Americans need more training to address the lack of valuable skills to compete in today's world economy. Use this revenue to help low skilled American workers get job training to help them become more skillful and a more livable wage.
Comment: "I am sure that demand does not exceed supply in many industries. Corporate executives claim that the reason they need the H 1 visas is because they can’t find Americans qualified. In my former bank, the analytics group was almost entirely made up of H1 visa holders. My argument is that out school system should be producing graduates who can do math, science and engineering."
For the last 30 - 40 years, I've regularly heard that not enough Americans are studying math, science and engineering. Not sure who's at fault but that's the reality. Perhaps it's much more challenging to do this coursework for many Americans so they choose less rigorous curriculum.
So we need to import science and engineering students to fill the need in our high tech job marketplace.
Call me a racist but another requirement should be speaking English clearly. I worked for a Fortune 100 company for 7 years where most of my work was done remotely over the phone and via conference calls. It's one thing to speak English and another to speak it clearly. While on conference calls with many employees from India, Russia or China, it is often challenging to understand what they are saying. To confirm my challenge, I've reached out to some of my
colleagues who have voiced the same sentiments. It's not just their accent, but their word usage too which makes communication more challenging. In a roundabout way, these immigrant Americans have an easier time understanding Americans that the other way around.
Comment: "What about passing a civics exam?"
Let's start with Congress, or better yet, DJT. I'd love to see a televised event where Donald Trump is given an oral civics test. He claims to be brilliant and the 'smartest guy ever,' let's see how well he does on this exam?