Point Systems for Immigrant Selection: Options and Issues [June 5, 2007]   [open pdf - 194KB]

"Replacing or supplementing the current preference system for admitting legal permanent residents (LPRs) with a point system is garnering considerable interest for the first time in over a decade. Briefly, point systems such as those of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand assign prospective immigrants with credits if they have specified attributes, most often based on educational attainment, skill sets used in shortage occupations, extent of work experience, language proficiency, and desirable age range. President George W. Bush has stated that comprehensive immigration reform is a top priority of his second term, and his principles of reform include increased border security and enforcement of immigration laws within the interior of the United States, as well as a major overhaul of temporary worker visas, expansion of permanent legal immigration, and revisions to the process of determining whether foreign workers are needed. The Bush Administration is reportedly among those advocating to replace or supplement the current legal immigration preference system with a point system that would assign prospective immigrants with credits if they have specified attributes."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34030
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