White House Current Affairs - 2020

US President unveils Merit-Based Immigration System

The United States President Donald Trump has proposed rolling out of a new immigration plan named ‘merit-based immigration system’. The announcement was made in his recent immigration policy address speech in Rose Garden at White House.

Key Highlights

  • About: The new ‘merit and point based immigration policy’ recently proposed by US President Trump will replace the existing green cards (given by US) with ‘Build America’ visa.
  • Criteria: As per President Trump under the proposed system of merit-based immigration, the permanent legal residency would be given based on the individual’s points for their age, civic sense, job opportunities and knowledge. Besides this all immigrants applying will be required to pass a civics exam prior to admission and learn English.
  • Benefits: The proposals will significantly increase quota for highly-skilled workers from existing nearly 12% to 57%. The merit-based immigration system will stand to benefit all the foreigners, including thousands of Indian skilled workers and working professionals wo are waiting to get permanent legal residency or Green Cards.
  • Difficulty: The proposals would still have to be approved by Congress where currently Democrats (opposition party to Trump’s Republican Party) control the lower house.


  • Every year United States issues about 1.1 million green cards, which gives foreign nationals life-time permission to work and live in US and also act a path to citizenship in five years. Currently most of cards are issued based on family links and diversity visa which favours applicants with family ties to the US. Under this current system only a small section of green card is given to people who are highly skilled and professionals.
  • Also President Trump has always taken a hard line view on immigration starting from 2016. Even in early 2019 he declared a national emergency on the US southern border (US-Mexican border), claiming of building the wall to halt all illegal migration.

US Secret Service head resigns

US Secret Service director Julia Pierson, has submitted her resignation in lieu of the latest events which pointed many fingers at the security organisation. The resignation however came after the incident of an intruder who jumped the fence to gain access to White House could do it successfully. Also, the inquiry into the same incident highlighted many such security lapses with the secret service, the one which has been entrusted the task of security of the President.

The growing threats of terrorists and such news stories could spell doom for America. The voices against Pierson were gaining strength and momentum. The agency is given the highest task on US soils and is thus supposed to be flawless and be able to maintain its previous position and operational standards. The security of the US President cannot be compromised on any grounds and thus Pierson had to submit to the criticism against her and the security lapses which have become a routine with the secret service.

Resonating the views of the Democrats, the republicans too had asked Pierson to step down. The lawmakers toned down her terming of the recent lapses as mere mistakes but stated that they were major security failures. The news of her resignation was seen as a welcome gesture and the lawmakers praised her decision to step down.

Julia Pierson offered her resignation to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday. A day earlier, she had faced angry questions in Congress about a major breach of White House security. Today Julia Pierson, the Director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson wrote in a statement.
“I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.”