The Trump Administration is reportedly moving to slash legal immigration to the United States for the next 10 years. According to news reports on Wednesday from Washington DC, President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of a new Senate bill when he appeared with Republican sponsors Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue at the White House.
Current level for the issuance of green cards is more than a million for foreign residents. The modified Senate immigration bill will cut that number in half.
The general outlines of the proposed immigration bill which slashes legal immigration by half are in consonance with Trump’s campaign promise to slow the growth of legal immigration to the United States.
According to the bill sponsored by the two Republicans, reduction in immigration would be achieved by a “merit-based” system which would cut green cards for extended family members of US citizens and permanent legal residents. The bill will, however, still make spouses and minor children eligible. New immigrants would be barred from social welfare benefits.
In remarks, President Donald Trump said, “…This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first…”
The attempt at limiting immigration to the U.S. is a drastic overhaul of the immigration system by the Trump Administration.
The impact of this new bill will be felt across the globe including Africa.
According to the non-partisan American based think-tank Pew Research Center which informs the public about issues, attitudes and trends shaping American and the world, “…There were 2.1 million African immigrants living in the United States in 2015, up from 881,000 in 2000 and a substantial increase from 1970 when the U.S. was home to only 80,000 foreign-born Africans. They accounted for 4.8% of the U.S. immigrant population in 2015, up from 0.8% in 1970…”
According to the Pew Research Center tabulations of 2015 American Community Survey, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt were the leading African nations of birth for the foreign born population from Africa to the U.S.
The 10 African countries in that Pew survey for populations in the U.S. include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya. Others are South Africa, Somalia, Morocco, Liberia and Cameroon. Total African born population in the United States from the 10 countries was estimated at about 1.4 million.
Uganda was the least African country with a population of 21,000 in the U.S.
The Pew Research says that “…African immigrants from the sub-Saharan region are also more likely than immigrants overall to enter the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Program – an act passed in 1990 to encourage immigration from under-represented nations. This legislation was initially intended to boost the number of Europeans migrating to the U.S., but many Africans have also benefited from the initiative..”
The proposed bill would end the Diversity Visa Program which, on an annual basis, is awarding about 50,000 green cards to areas in the world, including Africa, whose citizens are under represented in legal migration to the U.S. President Trump held that the bill will
The Washington Post reports that “…Under the bill, the new immigration system would award points to green card applicants based on such factors as English ability, education levels and job skills…”