Merit-Based Immigration Proposal

May 22, 2019

Last week, President Donald Trump unveiled a proposal to move the nation’s immigration system toward a merit-based system and tighten asylum-seeking rules. According to Trump’s plan, younger and more educated individuals stand a higher likelihood of having their application approved through a point system which would afford those people—as well as people with a “valuable skill”—more points.

The proposal would not change the total number of allowed immigrants per year, but its goal is to change the make-up of those immigrants allowed. According to a 2017 NSBA survey, more than one-in-three small employers hire some kind of immigrant worker: green-card holders, temporary foreign workers or VISA holders.

Any comprehensive immigration legislation must address the concerns of the small-business community in order to foster economic growth and to help small businesses prosper and create jobs. NSBA supports immigration reform that would: increase available workers in a variety of fields, including STEM, skilled and temporary workers; develop a new visa category for highly-skilled immigrant entrepreneurs; eliminate the per-country numerical limit on employment-based visas; and ensure that the administrative burden for employment-related visas is reasonable.