Trump Proposes Immigration Overhaul, Delays Issuance of New Travel Ban01 Mar 2017
Last night, in his first speech before a joint session of Congress, President Trump called on lawmakers to reform the U.S. immigration system. The President asserted that the “… current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers.” He signaled support for “… a merit-based immigration system,” akin to what is used in countries like Canada and Australia. President Trump continued, “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.”
It should be noted that this proposal by the President has no immediate impact on U.S. immigration law. This type of massive overhaul of the immigration system would require Congress to pass a bill for the President to sign into law, a process that can take many months. And, Congress is under no obligation to act on the President’s proposal – or, if they do try to pass such a bill, there is no guarantee of sufficient support in Congress to get the bill passed.
Following the speech, White House officials indicated that the President would not sign the new travel ban executive order today, as previously planned. Rather, the order will be signed at some unspecified time in the future. Some details leaked about the revised version of the travel ban indicate that, if signed, it would not apply to lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) or foreign nationals who already hold valid visa “stamps.”
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