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Trump to propose US immigration plan favouring high-skilled people with jobs

Trump to propose US immigration plan favouring high-skilled people with jobs

In a major policy speech Thursday, US President Donald Trump is all set to announce a new proposal to overhaul the country's immigration policy that would give preference to foreigners based on merit rather than the existing system that gives preference to family ties, a move that could end the agonising Green Card wait for hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals. On Thursday, Trump is expected to deliver a speech in which he proposes an overhaul of the US immigration system, including the number of immigrants accepted, development of a wall between the USA and Mexico and how visas are granted. Watch live in our player.

The official described an ideological split between Kushner, whose immigration views are more moderate, and another senior White House adviser, Stephen Miller, who is a hard-liner and is privately opposed to much of the plan.

However, the plan faces an uphill task mainly because of the bitterly divided Congress on partisan lines, especially on the issue of immigration reform. The Trump Administration intends to change this.

In briefings Wednesday that attracted dozens of journalists, administration officials said the plan would create a points-based visa system, similar to those used by Canada and other countries. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to outline the plan before Trump's announcement.

Far fewer green cards would be given to people with relatives already in the U.S. The diversity visa lottery, which offers green cards to citizens of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S., would be eliminated.

Trump will present an overview of the plan, with details of the "very large document" to be released in coming weeks, the official said.

The president has scheduled an afternoon speech from the White House Rose Garden where he will make his pitch. A "four pillars" proposal previous year fell by the wayside after Republicans failed to get behind corresponding legislation. This time, the White House is taking a more hands-on process, drafting legislative text itself.

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Trump's administration has sharply curtailed the number of refugees in the country and has attempted repeatedly to strip asylum rights for a record number of Central American families that have crossed the USA border with Mexico.

Graham, who rolled out his own proposal Wednesday to address the recent flood of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border, said he had advised Trump to try to cut a new deal with Democrats and believed Trump was open to that.

"We need the wall", said Graham, of SC, but he added, "A wall will not fix this".

Under the plan, migrants seeking asylum in the USA would have to make their claims at processing centers in places such as Central American countries and Mexico, not in the U.S. Currently, approximately 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections.

Despite Graham's call for Trump to work with Democrats, Democrats in the Senate seemed skeptical of Graham's legislation.

"If we do these four things, then the incentive created by our laws will cease to exist, and this humanitarian crisis will begin to fix itself", Graham said.

Jill Colvin of the Associated Press wrote this story. The PBS NewsHour will produce this video.