Jared Kushner has developed a comprehensive immigration proposal that consists of beefing up border security and shifting U.S. immigration to a more merit-based system.
Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has formulated a two-pronged approach to immigration reform, and he hopes to present a legislative form of the plan to Trump within the next few days. The package essentially takes a two-pronged approach to immigration reform.
The first part of the plan tackles legal immigration into the U.S., with Kushner looking to limit the number of low-skilled migrants who enter the country based on family ties. In their place, high-skilled foreign nationals would be encouraged to join the U.S. workforce under an immigration program that is more similar to the merit-based systems seen in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The second part of the proposal pertains to border security. Trump’s son-in-law hopes to build more barrier walls on the U.S. southern border in areas that see high levels of illegal immigration. He also wants to modernize ports of entry so that everything coming into the country is scanned, preventing anything illegal from getting past immigration enforcement.
Changes to asylum laws and seasonal guest worker programs are also included in the plan. Kushner, who has already discussed the issue with a group of GOP senators, has worked with a number of top immigration experts inside and outside of the White House. Impressed with Kushner’s work on criminal justice reform, Trump tapped his son-in-law to tackle the issue that has been long been a priority for the administration.
“The President asked me to work on this topic,” Kushner told TIME magazine on Tuesday. “This isn’t one of the topics that I came to Washington to work on.”
However, Kushner says he is “under no illusions” about the hurdles facing a major immigration deal. Democrats have fought tooth-and-nail against Trump’s efforts to build a southern border wall and hasten deportations of illegal migrants. At the same time, immigration hardliners in the administration still have trepidations over Kushner, someone they believe to have a left-leaning political bent.
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