New York, NY — As part of a new immigration plan, President Donald J. Trump announced that he would grant more visas to immigrants coming into the country who meet certain job skills or employment opportunities, while reducing the number of immigrants who come in because their family member currently lives in the United States.
Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP, says the president’s proposal has nothing to do with bringing in job talent overseas, but with breaking up families.
On May 16, President Trump announced a new plan to bring in more immigrants who can contribute to the U.S. workforce, provided they can show proficiency in the English language, have a strong educational background and pass a civics exam. Meanwhile, fewer noncitizens who are seeking to enter the country because their family member lives here would be admitted.
Mr. Bretz says he sees ethnically diverse neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Queens, in which immigrants, who have come into the country as the result of family reunification, become part of the neighborhood’s economy. “The innuendo from President Trump is that those uneducated and unskilled family members do nothing for the economy, but it isn’t true,” he says. “There are tons of neighborhoods in the U.S., like Jackson Heights, that would have a poorly performing economy if it weren’t for these unskilled and uneducated family members.”
President Trump’s proposal would offer 60 percent of visas to those seeking work in the U.S. Currently, only 12 percent receive such visas. Mr. Bretz says there is legislation that already exists for noncitizens seeking work visas. “What he wants to do is end family reunification,” he says. “The employment-based portion of our laws can be improved upon, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of family petitions.”