August 5, 2017


Based on the immigration system he endorsed, Trump would not get a green card (Catherine Rampell, August 3, 2017, Washington Post)

Here's how Trump -- or at least, a foreign national with roughly his qualifications -- would do.

Age: zero points. People older than 51 don't earn points. Trump is 71. The best ages to be under this system, by the way, are 26 to 30. (Darn millennials.)

Education: six.  Trump has a bachelor's degree from a U.S. university.

Record of extraordinary achievement: zero. Trump may have starred in a network reality show and (allegedly) sunk 30-foot putts, but what counts as "extraordinary achievement" is limited to two categories.

One is winning a Nobel Prize or comparable recognition in a science or social science field. No luck there, though a certain pseudo-Kenyan predecessor would benefit.

The other is recently winning an Olympic medal (individual event only, no relays!) or placing first in another comparable international athletic event.

English-language ability: zero. To receive points here, you need to score in the top half of those taking an officially sanctioned English proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL.

Success on this exam's writing section requires using "appropriate word choice," effectively addressing a topic and displaying "unity, progression and coherence." Consider how the coiner of "covfefe" might perform.

The TOEFL speaking section includes responding to a simple question prompt. Scoring well requires staying on topic, being intelligible and exhibiting "sustained, coherent discourse."

Peruse the transcript of Trump's recent interview with the Wall Street Journal -- or any other unscripted conversation, really -- to judge how he fares.

Entrepreneurial initiative: 12. Trump gets this for investing at least $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise in the United States, maintaining this investment for at least three years and playing an active role in the company's management.

The Trump Organization is not exactly a "new commercial enterprise" -- it was founded by Trump's grandmother, before he was born -- but he has a long list of more-recently-created LLCs and other corporations that probably count.

High-paying job offer: zero. This involves the ambiguous legislative language I flagged earlier.

Trump reports having a lot of income from his companies. But two immigration experts I consulted said that the "entrepreneurial initiative" and "high-paying job offer" points are likely mutually exclusive. That is, to get points for the entrepreneurial initiative category, the commercial enterprise you invest in must be one you help manage as your primary occupation; and you can't claim you made yourself a high-paying job offer. Even the measly $400,000 offered him as president (which as a foreigner, he couldn't be, but whatever) might not help him here, if he's claiming entrepreneurial points.

Trump's total: 18. To be eligible to join the applicant pool of those trying for a points-based immigrant visa, you need a minimum score of 30.

Posted by at August 5, 2017 1:14 PM