Fluency in English to Help Immigrants Seeking U.S. Move: Report

Skill, talent and fluency in English of applicants are some of the requirements in the merit-based system proposed by the Trump administration, according to a report.


Providing an insight into the merit-based system of immigration proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, a senior official said that immigrants who are fluent in English, have the required skills and are talented will be preferred by the United States for admission. These criteria will help countries like India, as a majority of Indian immigrants would meet them, PTI reported.

Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and Georgia senator David Perdue introduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE) in 2017. “Although not intended as a fix-all, if passed, this legislation would take significant steps toward moving the United States to a ‘merit-based immigration system’,” said Federation for American Immigration Reform factsheet (FAIR), the report said.

The factsheet also stipulated the different eligibility criteria for selection. It said that the typical examples of the eligibility criteria are ability to speak, read and write the language of the receiving nation, level of education, professional or trade licenses or certifications, and offer of employment in a certified shortage occupation, among others.

“And so, our position, is that a system that prioritizes individuals based on their individual skills and merit will certainly produce better results than the system we have now,” said a senior official, the news agency reported. He added that the Trump administration is looking to improve the immigration system in a bid to serve the interest of the United States.

Many other nations like Germany, Denmark, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada use the merit-based immigration system. It allows the receiving country great flexibility in responding to shifting labor and economic needs. Due to their language, education, age and financial requirements, they also encourage more efficient assimilation of migrants into the local and national community, the statement said.

“He wants immigrants to come in from everywhere, but he wants to do that through a merit-based system,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, the report added. She explained that President Trump is pushing for a merit-based system regardless of the country, religion and ethnicity of an applicant.

“So, what we have with the Diversity Lottery Program or through chain migration is that in these cases there are identified examples of individuals who were not selected to come to the US based on their love of this country, skills, merit, and individual attributes that will lead them to their success,” the official added.

In 2013, only 7 per cent of green cards issued were skills-based. The FAIR statement said that in order to genuinely improve the U.S. immigration system, family-based immigration must be limited to spouses and unmarried minor children of green card holders.

“Our immigration system is based on nepotism. We admit immigrants who already have family members in the country. We do not make immigration decisions based on whether or not an immigrant can contribute to our economy or has some remarkable talent that would benefit the nation,” added the FAIR statement, the report said.

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