Trump sends merit-based visa system plan to congress


US President Donald Trump has sent a 70-point enforcement plan to Congress proposing the stiffest reforms ever offered by an administration, including calls for a border wall with Mexico and a merit-based system of granting visas, the media reported.

The plans sent on Sunday also include call for more deportation agents, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and stricter limits to chain migration, all issues the White House said it needs to be part of any bill Congress passes to legalise illegal immigrant “Dreamers” currently protected by the deportation amnesty known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Nearly 800,000 undocumented young people currently benefits from DACA.

The plans also break serious new ground on the legal front, giving federal agents more leeway to deny illegal immigrants at the border, to arrest and hold them when they are spotted in the interior, and to deport them more speedily, reports The Washington Times.

The goal, the White House said, was to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system.

“Anything that is done addressing the status of DACA recipients needs to include these three reforms and solve these three problems,” a senior White House official told The Times.

“If you don’t solve these problems then you’re not going to have a secure border, you’re not going to have a lawful immigration system and you’re not going to be able to protect American workers.”

The plan includes a total of 27 different suggestions on border security, 39 improvements to interior enforcement and four major changes to the legal immigration system.

The White House said the plan was built from the ground up, with inputs from the Justice, State and Labour Departments and the three main immigration agencies at Homeland Security, each of whom was asked what tools they needed to finally get a handle on illegal immigration, The Washington Times reported.

Also on the list are proposals that have been included in past immigration bills that garnered bipartisan support such as cancelling the annual visa lottery that doles out 50,000 green cards at random, and requiring all businesses to use E-Verify, the government’s currently voluntary system for checking to make sure new hires are legally eligible to work.

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