(CNN) – Michael Bloomberg released his plan Monday to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, promising to overturn several Trump administration policies and reform the visa system by allowing place-based visas that will allow regions of the country to address unmet economic and social needs.
In the plan, Bloomberg calls for ending “plans that run counter to American values,” including the travel ban that was recently expanded, family separations at the border and building a wall along the US border with Mexico.
The former mayor of New York also commits to protecting status for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as Temporary Protected Status holders — both programs that have faced cuts and setbacks during the Trump administration. Bloomberg also states his support for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people living in the country.
Bloomberg’s focus on visas in the proposal differs from what many of the other Democrats are calling for. Bloomberg proposes a place-based visa system that allows different areas and regions of the country to address their unfulfilled economic and social needs.
Bloomberg’s plan would also create a start-up visa for entrepreneurs who generate jobs and allows international students who graduate with advanced degrees in a number of key fields, including STEM, health and business, to apply for green cards. It would also expand opportunities for foreign-born doctors and nurses to aid in the shortage of healthcare workers in rural and under-served communities across the country.
This place-based system ties back to Bloomberg’s overarching campaign theme of focusing on places rather than class when it comes to his policies. Bloomberg’s economy and jobs plan, which he unveiled in different communities across the Midwest last month, outlined the economic divide in the country in regional terms as opposed to the rich versus everyone else terms that many of his Democratic opponents use in their rhetoric.
By Caroline Kenny for CNN POLITICS
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