President Trump announced a plan today to overhaul parts of the U.S. immigration system. The plan focuses on new security measures at the border, changes to the asylum process, and a revised legal immigration system that shifts family-based green cards to employment-based and creates a new points-based immigration system. This is an evolving issue and BAL will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Key provisions:

  • Under a points-based system, candidates would be ranked and selected on the basis of factors such as education, age, wages, job offer and English language skills. The system would comprise three categories: immigrants with extraordinary ability; professionals and specialty vocations; and exceptional students. Successful candidates would be eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status (i.e., a green card).
  • Family-based immigration is expected to be limited to spouses and children of U.S. citizens, and other family-based preference categories would be eliminated. The Diversity Visa program would be abolished.
  • The plan will not address Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or undocumented immigrants already in the country.
  • No changes to temporary (nonimmigrant) visas, such as H-1Bs or L-1s, are expected to be included in the plan.

BAL Analysis: The White House is now working on drafting an immigration bill and seeking Congressional sponsors. The plan announced today is a summary of its forthcoming legislative proposal, and BAL will provide updates as more information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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