Democrats Once Wanted Points Based Immigration for America

Don’t progressives seem to love Canada’s Prime Minister. So unlike President Trump, especially in regards to immigration, right? Handing out winter coats to Syrian refugees. Now that’s a real immigration policy! Why couldn’t America have him as president?

Ok. Canada has had a points-based immigration system for years, apparently. You need to take English (or French presumably) exams to show proficiency in English. That's being able to write, listen, and speak in English. Not Spanish. Not Urdu. Not Russian. Not German.


You also need to have a certain level of education related to your work experience, apparently. And you need to have a reasonable amount of job experience in a field that needs additional labor. You need, in other words, to prove that you will be a useful and productive addition to Canada. And yes, having money helps you get into Canada, or Australia.

But you don't have to tell people like Chuck Schumer about Canada's points-based immigration system. He was all for implementing something similar in America back around 2007, as pointed out in a recent article in The Washington Times. And Schumer worked with a few other Democratic Senators on the proposal. Like Hillary Clinton. And like Barack Obama. And President Obama himself tried implementing something of the sort during his second term back in 2013.

But this was all before the great identity politics wave that drowned out all rational discourse on how to fix America's immigration system. A points based immigration system?? You white supremacist!! Oh, and the fact that President Trump has supported something similar - The RAISE Act from Senators Perdue and Cotton, both GOP - is of course good reason to denounce what was Democrat Party orthodoxy just a few years ago.

Yes, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act does propose cutting legal immigration by a substantial amount in addition to implementing a points-based system. And this has progressives up in arms over what they see as a curtailment of what they believe is an unconditional right: family reunification. But America's borders have been porous (less so lately, thanks to the new administration's stance and executive orders by Trump) for at least a generation, arguably for several. And America has a noticeably higher birth rate than Canada and is a younger country on average. Canada would be slowly dying off like some quasi-European country without immigration. America has no such problem. And Canada has a southern border that both friend and foe would kill for. Not so America's southern border.

So while reducing legal immigration can be debated - even if a reasonable trimming of family reunification visas is neither outrageous nor in the least harmful to America and her economy - it is long past the time for a points-based immigration system in America. Let's hope that Senators Cotton and Perdue's RAISE Act is the start of a legislative debate on the issue of immigration and not just a chance for name-calling by Democrats who a only few years back supported at least a good part of what's in this act.

And as final thought, the debate has already started on a real, legislative level. But not in Washington. At the state level, state governments are going their own way. Texas vs. California is one way to sum up the divide. With some states hardening their enforcement of immigration law, and others opening up their borders to all and sundry. While there are limits to what a state government can do on immigration, there is still a lot they can do in terms of whether to enforce the laws on the books or ignore them, especially in terms of how they work with or target sanctuary cities.

Imagine that, federal immigration law being torn out of the hands of Washington D.C. by state governments. That's a bit overly dramatic. But one wonders where the real power over immigration will reside in America in a few years time. Just a thought.

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