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Trump’s Latest Immigration Reform Bill Will Target Non-English Speakers

White House

In what he’s calling “the most significant reform to the immigration system in half a century,” President Trump submitted a bill to the Senate today that would slash the number of green cards issued by half, prioritize English speakers and introduce a merit-based point system for applicants seeking green cards.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) ACT was initially introduced in the Senate in April. The new proposals submitted today added harsher stipulations as to who receives the “golden ticket,” as Trump’s senior advisor for policy, Stephen Miller, referred to green cards during a White House press conference.

Currently, 1 million green cards are issued. Under the new policy, that number would be cut in half. Immigrants are eligible to apply for a green card through various categories, including through family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents or through employment. Green cards provide residency and work authorization to individuals, and also provide a fast track to citizenship, the ability to assist in immigrating family members and access to benefits afforded to citizens, like welfare services.

Under the new proposal, those seeking green cards would be ranked on a points system that would give higher priority to people who:

1. Speak English.

2. Have the ability to financially support themselves and their families.

3. Have a skill considered to contribute to the U.S. economy.

4. Are paid a high wage in their field. They would receive incremental points if their hiring company pays one, two, three, etc. times the median wage.

The updated bill also strictly limits “chain migration,” meaning the ability to assist relatives in immigrating to the U.S. Under the reform, people can only bring their spouse and a minor child/children to the U.S. Elderly relatives, siblings or other relatives would have to apply through the points system.

In today’s press conference, Miller said chain migration has lead to a large influx of unskilled migrants. As a result, immigrants are to blame for high unemployment rates amongst African-American, Hispanic and blue collar workers, as well as previous immigrants who have to compete with them for jobs. According to Miller, they are also to blame for companies paying low wages because they’re willing to work for less.

Miller did not provide any hard evidence or statistics when asked to do so during the press conference, and mostly relied on what he called “common sense.”

The current green card system also, according to Miller, costs tax payers since half of immigrant households receive welfare benefits.

This proposal falls in line with Trump’s campaign promises and, as Miller claims, reflects the desires of the American people.

“Maybe it’s time we have compassion for American workers,” Miller said in the press conference.

The proposal and Miller’s statements during the press conference caused an uproar on social media and among the journalists at the press conference.

CNN’s Jim Acosta accused the Trump administration of “trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country” by prioritizing English speakers. Acosta added that it goes against what is written on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Acosta said: “It doesn’t say anything [on the Statue of Liberty] about speaking English. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if you are telling them they have to speak English?”

That did not go over well. See the whole exchange below.

Credit: WH.gov 

It’s no doubt Latino immigrants would especially be affected by this new addition to the bill.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan nonprofit that analyzes migration data and refugee policies, reports that in 2015, 45% of U.S. immigrants identified as Hispanic or Latino. That accounts for 19.5 million people. They also report that in the same year, the largest population with limited proficiency in English are Spanish speakers, who account for 64 percent of the U.S. population. Forty-nine percent of the 43 million immigrants in America in 2015 spoke little-to-no English. So it’s safe to say that Spanish speakers are especially being targeted by the new policy favoring English speakers.

The bill also discriminates against the elderly, who are less likely to earn merit points. It also directly targets Latinos as they make up a large portion of the workforce in the fields of hospitality, agriculture, and construction, which are widely considered as jobs in which unskilled immigrants are employed. In other words, migrant workers picking fruit in fields will have a much harder time attaining green cards as the new bill prioritizes immigrants with higher education levels and with careers that pay high wages.

As Miller put it, the bill ends “unskilled chain migration, but making sure great minds, inventors, innovators, scientists can come into the U.S.”

Trump’s administration assumes American citizens are willing to do the jobs immigrants have taken on. If this ill passes, we will see if that’s true, though many have heavy doubts.

Still, Miller insists public support for this bill is “immense” and challenged media outlets to poll their readers.

READ: President Trump Is Pushing Idea That MS-13 Is A Big National Threat

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Houston Native Natalie Romero Hospitalized In Charlottesville Terror Attack

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Houston Native Natalie Romero Hospitalized In Charlottesville Terror Attack

On Friday, hundreds of white nationalists and Nazi sympathizers carrying tiki torches marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, in a call to “Unite the Right.” The group of white supremacists — some with riot gear and fire arms — continued to protest on Saturday. The protests turned deadly when one white nationalist, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. from Ohio, rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Fields killed 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer and injured 35 people.

One of those injured — in what is now being called a domestic terrorism attack — is Natalie Romero.

CREDIT: Facebook/Movimiento Cosecha

Romero, a 20-year-old native of Houston, Texas, was in Charlottesville protesting the Nazi sympathizers when she was injured during the attack. She is a member of Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant rights group with members in more than 20 states.

“She is one of the many people who, despite fear, took the streets to stand against anti-blackness, xenophobia, and hatred by violent white nationalists,” wrote Movimiento Cosecha on their Facebook.

Romero suffered “small skull fracture and multiple injuries to her face,” according to KHOU News.

CREDIT: Facebook/Movimiento Cosecha

Romero, who is part of the Houston Independent School District Air Force ROTC program, said that she went to the protest “to speak up for minorities.” KHOU also reports that her family moved to the United States from Colombia before Romero was born.

Romero texted her mother before she left to the protests in Charlottesville.

In this short audio clip, Romero talks about the injuries she sustained.

Romero’s family does not have health insurance, so a GoFundme has been set up in her name.

Romero is reportedly concerned about missing the first day of school due to her injuries. She’s currently attending the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on a full scholarship.

“I always told her, I know I cannot pay for college, so you need to study hard so you can get good grades and get a scholarship… and she’s helping me out. Whenever I need money, she’s the one sending me. She’s not asking me for money.” Erica Chaves, her mother, said to KHOU.

Today, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement regarding the events this past weekend that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia:

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Heather Heyer and to all the victims of the racist violence in Charlottesville this weekend. We stand with those who bravely protect and defend all communities that have been targeted by bigotry, hatred and intolerance.

A civil rights investigation into the Charlottesville terror attack has been opened by the Justice Department.

READ: Racist Professor Is Being Called Out For Belittling A Smart Latina Student In Class

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