How Does Merit Based Immigration Work?

Delilah Gutierrez, 10, left, holds a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration. Immigrants around the country have stayed home from work and school on Feb. 16, hoping to demonstrate their importance to America's economy and its way of life.
Delilah Gutierrez, 10, left, holds a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration. Immigrants around the country have stayed home from work and school on Feb. 16, hoping to demonstrate their importance to America's economy and its way of life. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo
Delilah Gutierrez, 10, left, holds a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration. Immigrants around the country have stayed home from work and school on Feb. 16, hoping to demonstrate their importance to America's economy and its way of life.
Delilah Gutierrez, 10, left, holds a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration. Immigrants around the country have stayed home from work and school on Feb. 16, hoping to demonstrate their importance to America's economy and its way of life. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

How Does Merit Based Immigration Work?

In his speech to Congress earlier this week, President Trump said the U.S. needed to switch “away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration" and adopt a “merit-based system.” 

By doing so, Trump argued the country would reap many benefits like higher worker wages.

We take a look at how merit-based systems, like the one used in Canada, actually work with Ron Hira, professor of political science at Howard University and a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute. He has testified before the Senate on how high-skilled immigrants impact the U.S. economy and job market.