Photo Courtesy: Nevada News Service

Nevada Groups Criticize President's Move Against Family Based Migration

President's Plan Favors Educated, English-Speaking Immigrants

May 20, 2019 - 11:52 am

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - Immigrants' rights groups are taking issue with President Donald Trump's new proposal released last week, to overhaul the way rules for admitting people emigrating to the United States. 

Groups that advocate for immigrants' rights are criticizing President Donald Trump's proposal, unveiled last Thursday, to begin favoring educated, higher-skilled, English-speaking immigrants over those who have family ties to the United States. The proposal would establish a point-based system that would require migrants to be proficient in English and pass a civics test before being considered. The new system would also limit the categories of people that legal immigrants can sponsor, to their children, spouse or parents, not grandparents, grandchildren or cousins. Bliss Requa-Trautz with the Arriba Las Vegas Worker's Center sees it as another example of the president playing to his base.

"This proposal is not designed to pass," said Requa-Trautz. "I believe it is designed to give political cover for the Trump administration to continue to engage in anti-immigrant efforts that are motivated by racial animus," she added.

The proposal would also work to ferret out what the president calls "frivolous" claims by asylum from people trying to escape poverty rather than political repression. According to the American Immigration Council, Nevada is home to 210-thousand undocumented immigrants, almost one in five Nevadans is foreign-born, and another 16-percent are native-born with at least one immigrant parent.

Requa-Trautz said the president's rhetoric is in keeping with previous attacks on immigrants, which she called "un-American."

"And it's ending the long tradition of this country to 'Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.' It's a distinct move away from the values that this country has been built upon," said Requa-Trautz.

The proposal does not mention the fate of the Dreamers, people with temporary protection status, or the 11-million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., and thus is not expected to gain the support of Democrats in Congress.