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Immigration is Going Down Under, Unless We Follow Australia

Image via Migration Policy Institute

President Trump’s RAISE Act is far from the disaster the mainstream media has made it out to be.

Immigration is going down under in more ways than one. Not only is President Trump planning to repeal our outdated immigration system, but he is also taking notes from our Australian allies. Similar to our Aussie friends, President Trump plans to enact a merit-based immigration system that will likely create more jobs for Americans and take an unnecessary burden off of American taxpayers, or in other words, Make America Great Again.

Ironically, late this summer in the City of Angels, I have had the pleasure of meeting some new Australian friends. They were here in the States on, as they say, “holiday” (vacation). We shared great stories about our pasts and made new memories over cool drinks and good old-fashioned banter. And after getting over my confusion and intrigue from hearing their unique vocabulary, such as calling sunglasses “sunnies” and calling McDonald’s “Maccas,” we started to talk politics. Aside from this, we discussed the benefits of Australia’s merit-based immigration system.

Over a poke-bowl in Hollywood, my Aussie friends explained that merit-based immigration reduces financial burdens on public resources by welcoming already employable immigrants. Immigrants in Australia are usually employable because they have to meet certain qualifications before they are given entry: proficiency in English, education, labor-skills, work history, and more.  With such qualifications, they assimilate easily, find employment quickly, and pay their share in taxes. Thus, rather than placing a burden on society, they contribute to making it better.

In America, we have long struggled with the tensions that come with immigration; low-income citizens are concerned with job security and a copious number of citizens are worried about extinguishing already-limited public funds. Therefore, President Trump’s plan to implement a similar merit-based system in the United States is brilliant. Trump’s proposed reform would give priority to immigrants who are educated, fluent in English, and have lucrative job opportunities or significant American investments. This plan will likely assist current Americans by introducing people into the U.S. economy that will not ask the government for resources, but instead provide wealth. With more middle-class immigrants, lower-income Americans will likely not have to be as concerned about their job security.

Trump’s merit-based immigration plan will help Americans by bringing in immigrants that help build public wealth rather than mostly—or solely—take from it. The finite nature of public resources makes it vital to throw caution to the wind before spending our tax money. Although it is not clear which government program or initiative is most important to spend our resources on, it is safe to say that we do not have any need to unnecessarily add costs to our budget. By maintaining an immigration system ignorant of meritocracy, the opposite happens – many people immigrate to this country and sign up for government assistance. In fact, around half of immigrants do so. Thus, a merit-based system will address this problem by welcoming immigrants who pay into the pot rather than take from it.

Merit-based immigration will not only take a burden off of tax payers, but it can also create more jobs for lower-income Americans. We have heard the cries of lower-income Americans; immigration with few restrictions has led to fewer job opportunities for them. Mr. Trump’s plan will assist in providing more jobs. By cutting legal immigration in half and giving preference to immigrants with high-income potential, the pool of eligible workers for low-income jobs on U.S. soil will shrink, leaving mostly Americans to do these jobs. Despite the saying “immigrants do jobs that Americans don’t want to do,” it is more than likely that Americans will be happy to complete tough, manual labor jobs as long as they are compensated fairly. In fact, the problem with Americans taking tough “hands on” jobs has never been the difficulty of the jobs, but instead the lack of opportunity because of illegal—under the table—labor.

Implementing Mr. Trump’s proposed immigration system, combined with the cutting of massive illegal immigration, would be extremely beneficial to low-income Americans. Employers will have to pay minimum wage to U.S. citizens rather than paying illegal immigrants “sweat shop” rates because the low-income labor force will become largely American.

Now, I know my liberal friends are up in arms about this. Heck, the Statute of Liberty states: “Give me your tired, your poor. ” However, you can’t help people in other parts of the world if your own country is not secure first. In airplanes, we are instructed to put on our mask first before helping others. So, why is Trump wrong for trying to put Americans first? A merit-based immigration system wouldn’t exclude refugees or completely ban low-income people; it would simply favor immigrants who can readily contribute to society in a significant fashion.

Liberals love to point to world maps and complain about how America needs to be like the rest of the world, such as with healthcare, so why do they stop now? If one were on the fence about whether this type of system works, they should look at the success Australia, the UK, and even Canada have had. President Trump’s plan for a merit-based system is not immoral or regressive, but a much-needed update to our immigration system that will help us catch up to the rest of the world.

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