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USA: Trump presents a plan for reforming legal immigration. Bishops’ Conference, “it is anti-family“

(from New York) A new plan for reforming legal immigration that looks favourably on young and educated immigrants was announced yesterday afternoon by President Donald Trump, from the White House garden where he also spoke of a new border security system. Such plan involves a scoring system that favours qualified and financially independent immigrants who can speak or learn English and who have passed an exam to show they know civics. “We must implement an immigration system that allows our citizens to thrive for the future generations”, said Trump, as he defined his solution as a “merit-based security plan”. The reform would leave out the so-called dreamers, the young immigrants who came to the USA as children, following their parents or other adults, whose permits to stay in the country are still being held up. In his speech, President Trump clearly suggested that priority will be given to the qualifications of those who aspire to enter the country, not to family reunions, so asylum-seeking unaccompanied children might be immediately brought back to their native countries and the visas for families would be dramatically cut down.

Trump specified that the new plan has been drawn up by police professionals, who work at the borders, and this might become an incentive for his party members who are extremely critical about the migration policies that have been promoted so far. Then, as was to be expected, he mentioned the Mexican border fence: this time, it will no longer be paid for by the Mexican government but by a trust fund, fed by the taxes paid at the border passes. “A physical gap”, Trump pointed out, which will have to be filled like “the legal gap”. The opposite opinion has been voiced by Ashley Feasley, director of migratory policies for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who defined such reform as “anti-family”. “Families are and have always been essential for our immigration system – she stated to America magazine –, because they take care of each other and are a social safety net for their members. They give their contribution to our country and make social cohesion easier”.

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