I sat down in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington D.C. on Thursday to listen to President Donald Trump unveil his new immigration proposals to the American people and the world.
It was mainly a repeat of what Mr. Trump had said before and during his presidential campaign in 2016, as well as since he became President in January 2017.
According to Mr. Trump, America needs another kind of immigrants. He wants future immigrants to the United States to be young, highly skilled, highly educated, financially Independent, speak English, love and embrace the American culture.
Those who come now, he said, are mainly uneducated, old, poor, and only come because they have relatives in the United States, what Mr. Trump and Republicans call “chain migration”.
Many also come illegally through the southern border between the United States and Mexico, bringing in drugs, crimes, gangs and little children.
Mr. Trump’s new immigration proposals want to change that. It wants new immigrants to come to the United States based on merit and not because of family ties, or through illegal borders.
He also wants to make asylum requests more strict. According to him, many asylum seekers make false claims to immigration officials to take advantage of the system.
To achieve all these goals, Mr Trump’s proposals want to stop the visa lottery, the only chance for most Africans to come to the United States.
The proposals also want to speed up deportation from the United States by increasing law enforcement staffers.
To stop illegal immigration, he wants to build a steep long wall on the southern border.
The President has also been appointing many judges to speed up deportation rulings, judges who may be more likely to support his immigration stance.
His immigration proposals are meant to bring in the right kind of immigrants who can boost the American economy, create jobs and innovate with their skills and knowledge, and not those who would come and compete with low-skilled Americans for low paying jobs, he said.
As a result, Mr. Trump is proposing that the best and most educated foreigners in the United States be allowed to remain here, work and create products and offer services in the United States.
Many quickly pointed out that Mr. Trump’s proposals would have barred his own grandfather from entering the United States, and he would not be President today.
But what does this mean for Africa and Africans?
The new proposals are unlikely to get bipartisan support in Congress. Speaker Pelosi has already described them as “sad”. Most Democrats oppose them and seceral Republicans are skeptical.
The speech was at best a campaign speech for the 2020 election in November next year.
But if these proposals were one day backed by Congress, Africans may not gain much from them.
The cancellation of the visa lottery would greatly affect Africans. It’s the only way most ordinary Africans immigrate to the United States.
The criteria for being “highly skilled” may also not benefit Africans whose universities are not seen as the best in the world.
They will also prevent many Africans from bringing in family members, including parents and loved ones.
Although Mr. Trump did not mention it in his speech on Thursday, he had been quoted in the past as saying that white immigrants should be allowed to come to the United States more than others.
He also tried to ban people from other faiths, especially Muslims from coming the United States.
Africans would suffer more and enjoy less with Mr Trump’s new immigration proposals.