The reform of the American immigration system is a mammoth task in which two predecessors of today's president have failed. Despite intensive negotiations, neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama succeeded in getting a majority in Congress for their ideas. And in all likelihood, even today's incumbent will not be able to enforce his plans now presented – if only because he has barely provided any compromise offers to the opposition Democrats. However, he is dependent on their approval in the House of Representatives, since the party is the majority there.
Donald Trump had staged the presentation of his reform so perfectly that one could believe that everything had already been decided. In the most beautiful May weather in the Rose Garden of the White House, the US President announced that he wanted "a fair, modern and lawful immigration system for the United States". The reform, which Trump himself calls "big, beautiful and courageous", is designed to stop illegal immigration and create a performance-based immigration system so that "brilliant" people from all over the world get the chance to come to the US. That sounds like a compromise.
If you want to invest money, welcome
In concrete terms, the plan, which was largely drafted by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, provides that the percentage of highly qualified, young immigrants who should receive a green card should increase from twelve to 52 percent. Even if you want to invest money in the US, is welcome. By contrast, immigrants wishing to move to their relatives who have already arrived should have fewer opportunities to obtain such a permanent residence and work permit for the United States in the future. The random green card lottery should be abolished. Instead, a points system should assess visa applicants according to their qualifications, as is the case in neighboring Canada. In the future, the English language skills of the applicants and their knowledge of the United States will be tested.
No word on the other hand can be found in the plan to ask what should happen to the 700,000 so-called dreamers who came to the US as children and are currently only tolerated. Unlike many in Trump's party, the Democrats want to give these people the opportunity to stay permanently in the country. Nor are the eleven million illegal immigrants already in America mentioned. In general, Democrats will have little interest in agreeing with the President on immigration, reiterating their allegiance on Thursday to wanting open borders and chaos, and urging that the "much-needed" wall be built on the Mexican border – a demand that the Democrats flatly reject. Just like the restriction of family reunification.
"Dead on arrival": The opposition gives the plans no chance
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi, therefore called Trump's proposals "dead on arrival", ie already failed, even before Congress had even discussed it. "The White House has just repackaged the worst of its previously failed immigration plans," she said.
That Trump probably does not expect that his reform comes through the Congress, he made even a remark. "If, for some reason – probably a political one – we do not get the approval of the Democrats for the (…) plan, then we will enforce it right after the election, if we bring back the House of Representatives, defend the Senate and of course the Presidency have won. "