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SPLC: Congress should dismiss President Trump’s dubious ‘merit-based’ immigration plan in favor of real reform

President Trump made a speech in the White House Rose Garden today about a plan to move U.S. immigration toward a “merit-based system” that would prioritize high-skilled workers over those with family members who are already in the country.

The plan “stands little chance of advancing in Congress, where lawmakers of both parties have greeted it with skepticism,” wroteThe Washington Post

“It currently isn't in the form of legislation, and there are no lawmakers signed on as sponsors,” NPR reported.

But although the plan appears dead on arrival, even among Trump’s most fervently anti-immigrant allies, the president used his bully pulpit at the White House today to double down on his war on immigrants. He has chosen to loudly endorse this unlikely proposal instead of addressing the deeply flawed immigration policies that have resulted in a very real humanitarian crisis at the southern border and in detention centers across our country.

This plan ignores the 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S. who are contributing to our communities and suffering under this administration’s abhorrent attacks on immigrants.

It views people as nothing more than workers, suggesting that exploitative guest-worker programs should be the model for our immigration system, and it devalues family ties. It imposes an English-language requirement that is deeply at odds with our nation’s values and diversity.  

In short, it is profoundly anti-American.

Instead of considering this outrageous proposal that would do absolutely nothing to strengthen U.S. immigration policy, Congress should use this opportunity to push for impactful immigration reform that will actually mend our broken system.

At this very moment, there are asylum seekers who are being forced to live in dangerous situations in Mexico, children indefinitely detained and kept from family members, and countless others suffering under policies that strive to isolate and intimidate while demonizing immigrants.

Congress should address real, meaningful immigration reform, and now is the time for it to do so.