Are You Bilingual? Trump’s Latest Immigration Reform May Favor Only English Speaking Immigrants

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Wednesday, President Donald Trump submitted a bill to the Senate that aims to cut the number of green cards given in half.

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The new bill, known as the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, will use a sort of “point system” that will prioritize those individuals that apply for green cards, according to Mitu.com.

With the RAISE Act, a higher priority will be given to individuals that speak English, have the ability to support themselves and their families financially, have a skill that can contribute to the U.S. economy and are paid a high wage in their field.

The bill also mainly limits “chain immigration” which is the term used to describe immigration groups that extend beyond immediate family. Under this updated version of the bill, individuals can only bring their spouse and a minor child/children to the states with them. Meaning elderly relatives, siblings and other family members would have to apply for a green card separately.

Stephen Miller, the Trump Administration’s Senior Policy Advisor, held a press conference outlining the updated bill. Miller explained the new proposed system will cost less for American taxpayers and will improve unemployment rates among American citizens, as reported by the media outlet.

The concern lies in how this updated policy will disproportionately affect Latinx and Hispanic immigrants compared to other minority groups. A 2015 Migration Policy Institute report found that 45% of United States immigrants self-identified as Latinx or Hispanic.

With the new requirements outlined in the point system, Spanish speakers and the many members of this minority group that have jobs in hospitality, agriculture, and construction would be primarily targeted due to their spoken language and employment being considered “unskilled.” These factors would make it harder to earn points and be prioritized when it came to applying for a green card.

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It is yet to be determined if this bill will be passed or if additional revisions will be made to it in the future.