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President Donald Trump unveiled his new immigration plan Thursday, which will focus on border security and a merit-based legal immigration system.

“Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker,” the president said during an event in the White House Rose Garden. “It’s just common sense.”

To secure the border, Trump’s plan calls for infrastructure, or a wall, at 33 strategic locations, modernized ports of entry, and expediting immigration court proceedings and removal processes. Trump said the plan will also create a self-sustaining “border security trust fund,” generated from funds collected from border crossings.

The president promised that asylum claims will be expedited, stating “if you have a proper claim you will be quickly admitted … If you don’t, you will promptly be returned home,” but he did not offer explicit details as to how he plans to speed up the process.

The administration also hopes to revamp the visa system to reward highly-skilled immigrants, although the plan does not reduce the overall levels of legal immigration to the United States.

More visas will be awarded to immigrants who are younger workers, have valuable skills, have an offer of employment, have an advanced education, and earn higher wages. Applicants will also be required to be financially self-sufficient, speak English, and pass a civics exam. Trump described the new program as an “easy-to-navigate points-based system.”

The new system is called the “Build America Visa.”

Trump said the proportion of visas that go to highly-skilled immigrants will jump from 12% to 57%.

“Random selection is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world,” Trump said. “This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive.”

The plan was initially written by senior advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller, but the president insisted Thursday that the plan belongs to him.

Senior administration officials told reporters last week that the plan has six goals: securing the border, protecting American wages, attracting and retaining the best and brightest, unifying families, get labor in critical industries and retaining the United States’ humanitarian values.

At the time, officials declined to offer specific details about how the plan achieved those goals. Republican officials said that they were underwhelmed with Kushner’s understanding of the immigration plan during a Capitol Hill luncheon Tuesday.

“He’s in his own little world,” one individual familiar with the discussion told The Washington Post. “He didn’t give many details about what was in [his plan]. . . . And there were a number of instances where people had to step in and answer questions because he couldn’t.”

The plan notably does not include a plan to fix the DACA system, which the president said was intentionally left out in the hopes of uniting the GOP caucus around shared goals for immigration. However, without a DACA fix, any legislation based on the plan is likely dead on arrival for Democrats in the House.

The president is hoping his plan, if implemented, can help combat what he considers to be a crisis at the southern border. Illegal immigration to the U.S. is currently on track in 2019 to reach its highest level in a decade.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Paul Blissett

    May 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Hope it works, i have no problem with immigrants coming in the right way, and being a productive member of society paying taxes, and circulating their earnings in OUR ECONOMY, not back where they com from…

  2. Ed

    May 17, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Even if a DACA “fix” is included, Pelosi will find ‘something’ to whine about. Time for more “Emergency” action.

  3. Trump 2020

    May 17, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Just copy this. The Mexican government regulations will astound you.
    Remember, this is just for residency for three years to qualify for
    Citizenship and that is five years with a Spanish test and culture test.
    https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/nuevaorleans/index.php/2016-04-12-19-28-49/english/permanent-resident-retired

  4. RockyMtn1776

    May 17, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    We have been sold out by BOTH political parties on the immigration issue. Both want illegals here for various reasons. Trump should have done this his first week in office but regardless, the Democrats would never vote to have this passed into law. Little to nothing is going to be done about deporting somewhere between 30 to 50 M illegals in the US. We are still importing our own killers, flying them all over America and just waiting for our country to fall into the trash heap of history.

  5. Tony

    May 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    trump maybe the Anti Christ❓The REAL Christ was ALL ABOUT LOVE❤️ LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE THY SELF. This SPREADS FEAR AND HATE. It seems EVERY time he opens his mouth, out comes MORE BULL.THINK ABOUT IT.
    The people who are escaping for their lives with their families from Central and South America are predominantly CHRISTIANS.
    What would God think when God sees children being taken from their parents and put in cages❓MILLSTONES ANYBODY❓
    Before you tell them to Vote Republican in 2020 Tell them to read
    MATTHEW 18:6 and
    LEVITICUS 19:33-34
    Matthew 18:6 King James Version (KJV)
    6 But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
    Life preserver ANYONE❓

    Leviticus 19:33-34 New International Version (NIV)
    33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
    Remember this one, I believe Jesus said it.
    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
    Guess what trump, aren’t you supposed to be a millionaire or billionaire. That must mean you are on a slippery slope down to the bad placeHave Fun bigggly

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