Trump Supports Plan to Slow Down Legal Immigration

August 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

President Donald Trump announced his endorsement on Wednesday of a bill that halves legal immigration in the country over the course of a decade and eliminates United States’ annual Diversity Visa Lottery.

“This represents the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century,” said Trump during a White House appearance.

The Reforming American Immigration For Strong Employment (RAISE Act), introduced in February by two Republican senators, would reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed in the U.S. by 41 percent in the first year and by 50 percent in year 10, according to the bills’ proponents.

It also slashes the number of refugees who can earn citizenship to no more than 50,000 per year.

“Priority will be given to applicants who speak English, can financially support themselves and their families, and contribute to our economy,” said Trump.

He said the legislation would help “create a merit-based immigration system,” which would “reduce poverty” in the U.S., “raise wages and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

It will also “ensure that immigrants” who can enter “assimilate into the country, succeed and achieve the American Dream,” Trump added.

The bill was introduced in February by Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, who attended Trump’s announcement at the White House Wednesday.

The most significant change would be limiting the ability of new citizens to sponsor other members of their family immigrating to the country, liming sponsorship to spouses or underage children.

Currently, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor a variety of family members for residency permits, including spouses, parents, siblings, and married adult children.

“Ending family-based immigration is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to halt growing American ethnic diversity that this system has fostered for more than half a century,” Martha Arévalo, executive director at CARECEN Los Angeles said in statement.

“Adult children and siblings already wait years or decades to come to the United States. Eliminating the chance for families to reunite with these relatives is cruel and nonsensical,” she said.

Cotton and Perdue’s plan would allow temporary visas for the elderly parents of U.S. citizens in need of caretaking, but would require the sponsoring child to guarantee the parents support and provide health insurance.

The bill would also eliminate the visa lottery, which allocates about 50,000 visas a year to citizens of countries that traditionally have low immigration rates to the U.S., and would limit the number of refugees received anywhere in the world to 50,000 annually.

“These two programs add little to the overall number of immigrants in the United States. Cutting them leaves no doubt about the racist undertones of this proposal,” according to CARECEN.

“Business owners have long complained that the employment-based immigration system, which the raise bill purports to help, is antiquated and in desperate need of an overhaul,” said Daniel Sharp, the organization’s legal director. “We agree.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard called Trump’s support of the RAISE Act “a cruel and brazen pander to anti-immigrant voices at the expense of American businesses and workers.”

She said, “A person’s value cannot be confined to a set of skills, no matter how much Donald Trump and the authors of the RAISE Act would like you to believe that.”

Roybal-Allard, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations, said Subcommittee, said if the president really wants to help American works, “he could prioritize legislation to bolster job training, create new jobs, and increase wages.” For immigrants and non-immigrants alike, and “reach across the aisle to pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that treats immigrants humanely, keeps families together, secures our borders, and creates a path to citizenship.

“But he hasn’t.”

EGP staff writers contributed to this story.

White House Opposes New Plan to Protect Undocumented Youth

July 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

WASHINGTON – The White House suggested on Wednesday that President Donald Trump does not support a bipartisan bill that will be presented on Thursday, which sets a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who arrived in the country as children, more commonly known as “Dreamers.”

“The (Trump) Administration has opposed the ‘Dream Act’ and is likely to be consistent with that,” said White House Legislative Affairs spokesman Marc Short at a news conference.

The “Dream Act” bill was first presented to U.S. Congress in 2011, but failed to pass. It has been resubmitted several more times since, each time suffering the same fate.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham are scheduled to scheduled to present a new version of the “Dream Act” Thursday that if passed would allow youth in the country without legal status to obtain residency status and later U.S. citizenship if they meet certain requirements.

To be eligible, the applicant must have arrived in the U.S. as a child, earned a high school diploma or GED, is pursuing higher education, worked legally for about three years or served in the military. They must also have not committed any crimes, among other provisions.

Congress’ multiple failures to pass the Dream Act was the impetus for former President Barack Obama’s push for a temporary solution to the plight of hundreds of thousands of young people raised in the U.S. and consider this their home. Obama issued an executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, program, which since 2012 has prevented the deportation of 800 thousand undocumented youths who came to the U.S. as children.

In June, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum stating that DACA “will remain in effect.”

However, the federal government has not made a decision on the future of that program, although President Trump has repeated that this is “one of the most difficult issues” he faces in his presidency. Without providing any details, the president has said he would face the issue “with heart.”

Trump said last week that he wants to push for comprehensive immigration reform, but believes the U.S. and its political forces “are not ready” for that.

Texas and nine other states have threatened to sue the federal government if it does not eliminate DACA by Sept. 5.

Supervisors Want More Diversity Among County Doctors

July 20, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to diversify the pool of doctors working at county hospitals, trauma centers and health care facilities.

Supervisor Hilda Solis proposed coordinating with labor unions to recruit more “culturally and linguistically competent physicians” to staff the second largest municipal health care system in the nation.

“By ensuring that our physicians are as diverse as the patients they see, we place a strong emphasis on effective and culturally appropriate services,” Solis said. “This is about hiring and equipping our local working men and women with the leadership, training and skills needed to best serve the needs of our diverse communities.”

The board also hopes to reduce the number of contract physicians and become the employer of choice for medical residents in training at county facilities.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion, said the county employs more than 4,000 doctors and offers one of the largest physician training programs nationwide.

“It is important that we review our hiring practices to ensure that our hospitals and clinics can continue to effectively compete for the best doctors, and that the many physicians we train will choose to stay here,” Kuehl said.

The motion drew union support.

“Union of American Physicians and Dentists doctors appreciate that Supervisors Solis and Kuehl are taking steps to ensure that there are enough county doctors to serve the needs of all Los Angeles residents,” said UAPD President Stuart Bussey. “What they are proposing here should be a model for other counties, most of which are facing similar recruitment challenges.”

 

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