An American journalist has said that first lady Melania Trump would likely not pass President Donald Trump's proposed screening system for immigrants.
Julia Ioffe criticized the president's proposal for a "points-based" system for screening immigrants to the U.S., and suggested that the first lady would have a hard time getting accepted because she doesn't have a college degree, according to The Independent.
Ioffe noted that Melania came to the U.S. with an H-1B visa, which is one of the types of visas that the Trump administration has targeted.
"When you ask Trump supporters, they don't care because she's ... the right kind of immigrant," Ioffe said, according to CNN. "She is a beautiful white woman from Europe, and we like those. Even though she doesn't have a college degree. You know, I don't know how she would have done under this point system."
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On Aug. 2, the president threw his support behind a bill called the RAISE Act, or Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment, that would create a system assigning points to immigrants based on aspects like age, career, and ability to speak English.
Immigrants aged 26 through 30 would get the maximum number of points for age, with the number decreasing for younger or older immigrants. Those over the age of 50 would not receive any points.
Education would also award points, with immigrants receiving more points for professional degrees and doctorates. Applicants would take a standardized English test, and those who scored highest would receive the most points.
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The applicant would also get points based on job offers in the U.S., but only if they were offered a job with a higher salary than the median household income in the state to which they would immigrate.
The system would also award points for achievements like earning a Nobel Prize or an Olympic medal. It would also give points to applicants that invest over $1.35 million in a new U.S.-based commercial enterprise.
Applicants would need to score at least 30 points to apply for the program.
Ioffe called the proposed policy "restrictive."
"It's kind of more of the same in slightly different packaging," Ioffe said of the new plan, "the same thing he has been promising to his base since he started running [for the White House] two years ago."
She also called the Trump administration's efforts to keep refugees out of the country "immoral and cruel," saying: "Especially if you're pursuing a kind of isolationist foreign policy and you're not going out into the world and trying to help these countries fix the situations they're in so that they're not creating these massive refugees flows."
In a tweet, Ioffe pointed out that she didn't speak English when she immigrated to the U.S. from Russia.
"Now, I get paid to write in it," she tweeted. "Just saying."