Should the U.S. adopt a merit-based immigration system?
via AP

Should the U.S. adopt a merit-based immigration system?

Join the conversation and vote below

In wake of the New York terrorist attack, President Trump is calling for merit-based immigration. Trump's revealed the RAISE Act earlier this year, which would scrap the current lottery system for would-be immigrants and replace it with a new system that factors in English skills, education, high-paying job offers, and age. Critics say the bill favors already-privileged applicants and would harm our economy, but supporters say we must limit immigration to skilled workers. What do you think? 🗽

The Votes Are In!

In the immediate aftermath of the New York terrorist attack that left 8 dead and 11 injured, President Trump was quick to respond by blaming Chuck Schumer and others for not embracing a merit-based immigration system.

President Trump has been pushing for merit-based immigration for a while now, unveiling the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act earlier this year.

Critics say the bill is simply un-American. Tens of millions of American citizens would not be here if their German, Irish, Italian, Polish and Scandinavian forebears had been required to speak English, have job offers, or demonstrate high-level work skills. This bill pulls up the ladder for immigrants who are most in need of opportunity. 

As Chris Tognotti argues in Bustle:

Some critics of the bill and of Trump's support for it have condemned it as both racist and classist, and it's not that hard to see why. Giving preference to English-speaking applicants would effectively, in all likelihood, be an across-the-board leg-up for people coming from countries where English is already widely spoken ― in other words, countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, which are predominantly white and have strongly Western economies.

But others say creating a merit-based system for immigrants is not xenophobia or classism—it's just common sense. Many other developed nations, including the U.K. and Canada, employ merit-based systems to maintain healthy levels of immigration.

It's about having a managed, structured process to benefit all Americans.

President Trump pointed out that both Canada and Australia have instituted merit-based immigration systems that are considered both fair and very successful. Why must America shoulder the burden of accepting all immigrants, regardless of their benefit to the nation?

Canadians have a wholehearted belief in the merit-based immigration system, which creates a positive feedback loop.
“The advantage of our system is the people who come in — everyone agrees they’ve passed some sort of merit system,” said Ravi Pendakur, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. “The Canadian population in particular is more willing to buy into immigration. They can see it’s managed, and that’s an advantage.”

Others say the bill runs completely counter to the core values of America. We are a nation built on the back of immigrants and we should embrace that global image. It's a betrayal of our ideals to demand immigrants to speak English and have enough money to come to America.

We should expect more and we should demand more from our political leaders. This is not a solution.

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