In a bid to overhaul the existing American immigration system, US President Donald Trump on Thursday outlined his plan for a merit and points-based immigration system, which would see the proportion of highly-skilled immigration go up to 57 percent from the existing 12 percent, once approved.
"The biggest change we make is to increase the proportion of highly skilled immigration from 12% to 57% and we would like to even see if we can go higher," Trump told the gathering at the White House on Thursday.
Furthermore, his plan, which is yet to be approved by the US Congress, limits family-based immigration and asylum and diversity admissions.
"This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive. At the same time, we prioritise the immediate family of new Americans - spouses and children, the loved ones you choose to build a life with. We will replace the existing Green card categories with a new visa - the 'Build America Visa'," he stated during the briefing.
However, while Trump's plan is aimed at uniting the Republicans, it may face issues in being approved by the US Congress as it does not resolve the status of young adults under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is a Democratic priority.
Addressing this, Trump declared that if the Democrats did not approve the plan, then the Republicans would do so after taking the House and holding both the presidency and the Senate following the impending Presidential elections in 2020.
During his address at White House's Rose Garden, the US President also took the opportunity to reinforce his disdain for the entry of immigrants through the country's Southern border, unveiling his intent to scan every person or vehicle entering through those channels to curb the smuggling of drugs and humans.
He also spoke of a 'border security trust fund' which will be "financed by fees and revenues generated at border crossings." Trump further outlined that close to 400 miles of the wall on the US-Mexico border would be built by the end of next year.
Outlining the United States' "broken" asylum system, Trump said that the plan aimed at sidelining "frivolous claims," making way for the money being spent on them currently to be channelled in other places like in supporting elderly veterans, along with other areas.
"We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system. Our Nation has a proud history of affording protection to those fleeing government persecutions. Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims to gain admission into our country," Trump said.
"Asylum abuse also strains our public school systems, our hospitals, and local shelters -- using funds that we should and have to go to elderly veterans, at-risk youth, Americans in poverty and those in genuine need of protection. We're using the funds that should be going to them and that shouldn't happen."
"My plan expedites relief for legitimate asylum seekers by screening out the meritless claims," POTUS said. Those who don't have legitimate claims "will be promptly returned home," he added.
USA's immigration system saw a major overhaul around 54 years ago. "So a major update...is long overdue," he underlined during his address.
For the students studying in the United States, "We want to keep them here," Trump said. "We discriminate against brilliance. We won't anymore once we get this passed. And we hope to get this passed as soon as possible," he said while speaking about his points-based immigration proposal.
He noted that Canada, Australia, and New Zealand had better systems to attract highly-skilled immigrants.
"Our proposal builds upon our Nation's rich history of immigration while strengthening the bonds of citizenship that bind us together as a national family."
"Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages, and frankly, lawless chaos. We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages, and safety of American workers first. Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)