The “points system” proposed in Congress’ latest immigration reform bill ignores American tradition and lowers immigrants to be simple tools utilized to achieve an economic end. This merit scheme would give priority to mainly the most educated members of society, allowing highly skilled workers in, but not necessarily others (like family members). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said that in its present form, this bill does not position “family unity as an integral part of the U.S. immigration system.”
Instead of placing families, work ethic, and morals at the center of the immigration debate, Congress is merely considering the financial bottom line. By narrowly focusing on a prospective immigrant’s level of education and earnings potential, the legislative has debased the poor by framing them as the means to an end instead of considering them as sentient beings with family needs and moral motives. Ironically, Republican members of Congress who supposedly support “family values,” are the leading advocates who introduced this blatantly anti-family “points system” into the Senate.
The proposed legislation does not in its present form uphold American values and it should not be passed. What must be pursued is an immigration bill that will not only spur financial growth, but will also affirm human dignity and the value of family.