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Donald Trump is expected to unveil his son-in-law's beautiful new plan to remake legal immigration in a speech this afternoon. The "merit based" immigration proposal isn't expected to actually get passed by Congress, but is more of a thing Republicans can point to and say, "See? We are common Elizabeth Warrens!" But Jared worked very hard on it, with lots of help from that nice Stephen Miller, and Trump told Jared he loves it. So it's a very good, very serious plan that Rs can rally around and accuse Democrats of refusing to support, which is the only thing that matters. And that is what counts for serious governance these days.


The plan's broad outlines have been a known known for a while; the goal would be to shift toward favoring immigration by people who would supposedly bring economic benefit to the US, away from the current system, which emphasizes family connections to people who have already come here. It would award prospective immigrants points "based on age, English proficiency, offer of employment and education levels," and would also require a background check and health screening.

Most beautiful of all, the new system would include a very special test to make sure new immigrants sufficiently love America, a criterion that White House aides told the Washington Post is all about "patriotic assimilation." That brilliant idea would

favor immigrants who had shown an active interest in incorporating the nation's culture and way of life. One administration official offered an example in which green-card applicants would be required to pass an exam based on a reading of George Washington's farewell address or Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association.

Extra points would presumably be awarded to applicants who explain the Constitution does not allow Congress or anyone else to investigate a president who knows he's done nothing wrong.

And because it was formulated by dipshits, the plan completely leaves out any resolution to the issue of Dreamer kids -- those whose parents came to the US without documentation when the kids were very young. You might think a serious immigration plan would resolve the status of people covered by DACA, the Obama program Trump tried to abolish, but nah, Jared explained in a briefing Tuesday that Poppa Trump didn't ask him to include that, and instead wanted him to focus on ideas that "bring people together." And since some Republicans at least say they want to help Dreamers, while others really enjoy calling them "illegal immigrants" who need to be deported for their crime of crossing the border as babies, that's not the sort of togetherness Republicans can embrace.

And since the Kushner plan doesn't change the overall number of legal immigrants, it's unlikely the most hardline opponents of immigration would even be on board. Perhaps Miller assumed the Patriotism Test would ensure a higher number of Europeans would be admitted.

There is other stuff in the "plan," like modernizing technology at ports of entry and changing US asylum law to make it officially harder for people to seek refuge from violence in their home countries, but again, it's very important to note that there are almost zero chances of any of this becoming law. Chuck Schumer said the administration has "not even talked to Democrats" about the proposal, and there's virtually no chance a single Democrat might support it (Joe Manchin, you just shut up now). Lindsey Graham, pushing a very serious proposal of his own, said Wednesday the White House plan is "not designed to become law." And the Post points out that, "No senator has stepped forward yet to turn Kushner's plan into legislation."

Still, the White House spin machine is already at work telling the media that Donald Trump is 100 percent behind Jared's plan for peace in the Middle East remaking immigration:

"I don't think I've ever seen the president so positive" about a policy proposal, one senior administration official said. Another added that "people from every corner of the caucus seemed to embrace this."

Based on that level of artificial enthusiasm, we should expect Trump to talk it up for at least today, then return to fantasizing about letting US troops at the border start opening fire on immigrants.

Oh, yes, and how's this for some "patriotic assimilation"? WaPo reports that, on the day he's rolling out this great new "plan" to completely change legal immigration, Trump will be headed to New York City for a fundraiser -- but he'll be steering clear of one big ol' patriotic landmark:

White House officials declined an invitation for the president to take part in the grand opening of a museum at the Statue of Liberty — an event expected to attract dignitaries to commemorate the landmark, dedicated nearly 133 years ago, that has long been an icon of the United States' openness to immigrants.

Never let it be said that the Trump White House isn't at least sometimes dimly aware of possible bad optics.

[WaPo / NBC News / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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