U.S. President Donald Trump will outline on Thursday a plan to harden border security and overhaul the legal immigration system to favor applicants who speak English, are well-educated and have job offers, senior administration officials said.
The plan also calls for building border wall in targeted locations and continues to push for an overhaul to the US asylum system, with the goal of processing fewer applications and removing people who don't qualify faster. Yamiche Alcindor talks to Amna Nawaz about the plan's details and its likely reception by Congress. Nor does it reduce overall rates of immigration, as many conservative Republicans would like to see.
The plan also proposes changes to the asylum process, which the Trump administration says is abused.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline the plan before Trump's announcement, said the USA would award the same number of green cards as it now does.
He said the border needs to be secured "so that people can't cross illegally if they are trying to avoid detection". But with the president up for reelection next year, the White House is making a calculation to put this plan front and center.More news: Farmer sawed off leg with pocket knife to save his own life
Brainchild of Trump's son-in-law, Jarred Kushner, the new plan primarily focusses on strengthening border security and revamping the system of Green Card or legal permanent residency so that people with merit, higher degrees and professional qualifications could get an easy access to the immigration system.
Now about two-thirds of immigrant visas are doled out based on family ties, while only a little more than 10 percent go to employment-based visas.
It also seeks to end the diversity lottery system that grants entry into the United States to about 55,000 people from underrepresented countries every year.
"I don't think it's created to get Democratic support as much as it is to unify the Republican Party around border security, a negotiating position", said Sen.
But it will not address what to do about the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the USA, nor will it include new guest-worker programs businesses want to keep a flow of foreign labor. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the speech.More news: FCC to propose rules blocking robocalls
Graham told reporters that he had urged Trump to try to cut a deal with Democrat and said he thought Trump was "open-minded to it".
Though Trump has voiced support for a pathway to citizenship for numerous nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, he has sought to pair legalization efforts with hard line enforcement provisions, including a border wall, more Border Patrol officers and change to US laws aimed at speeding up deportations.
Republicans on the Hill, too, voiced skepticism, even as administration officials insisted the plan had been embraced by those who briefed on it.
Graham, who is close to Trump, rolled out his own proposal Wednesday to address a recent flood of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border.
"I am urging the president to lead us to a solution", he said.More news: Gase's 1st move: Jets send LB Lee to K.C.