Adding Up the Points: Merit-Based Immigration Policy

Civics Lesson
People, Identity & Culture
USA map made of multicolored stickman figures


Grade Level:
High School
People, Identity & Culture

What is Merit-based Immigration Policy, and How Might it Impact Various People?

Should the U.S. Adopt Merit-Based Immigration Policy?


In 2017, President Trump announced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act that would move immigration policy in the U.S. to be more like Canada and Australia. According to the Trump administration, the merit-based, or point-based, policy would protect small U.S. businesses and would create a safer nation. When this act was introduced, many people asked what merit-based immigration policy is and how it works.

About the Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will learn about merit-based immigration while calculating their points based on Trump’s RAISE Act. Students will also write a persuasive essay based on merit-based immigration policy.




  • Understand merit-based immigration policy.
  • Identify the pros and cons of a merit-based or family-based immigration policy.
  • Outline a persuasive essay based on merit-based immigration policy.

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