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

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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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Things That Matter

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him and he is hitting the ground running. On his first day in office, President Biden has a series of executive actions he is signing to reverse a lot of the damage created by the Trump administration. Here are some of the things President Biden will do with these actions.

The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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