Judging from some comments I’ve been receiving, I see that many still don’t get my point about the impact of requiring legal immigrants to know English. Actually, I suspect that even Stephen Miller doesn’t understand this.
To make the point most clearly, suppose that Congress adds the English requirement but makes no other changes (i.e. no point system etc.). My point is that the same people would come here, with and without an English requirement. Those of you who are thinking that this means the main people who immigrate are the college educated have it wrong. The blue collar, lesser-educated people are highly motivated to immigrate and thus WILL develop the necessary level of proficiency in order to attain a green card.
As I mentioned, long ago I was an ESL instructor in San Francisco’s Chinatown. (The story of how I got there is interesting but a tangent here.) I taught mainly ESL 50, the lowest level. Actually, the lowest had been ESL 100, but so many immigrated knowing next to nothing that the city instituted an even lower course. Most were not high school graduates, and basically knew the ABCs; some didn’t even have that. But they all learned, and by the end of the semester most were fit to work in a low-level service job in which English is spoken, and I would set this level as the requirement. Had English been a requirement for their green cards, they would have picked up their English back home before they immigrated.
By the way, refugee status is not the same as a green card. Refugees may arrive under circumstances that do not give them time to learn English before coming here. But under current law, they can apply for green cards after a year in the U.S., and again that would give them time to come up to speed in English.