U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he wants to overhaul the country’s immigration system to favour young, educated, English-speaking applicants with job offers instead of people with family ties to Americans — a plan with little chance of advancing in Congress.
“Our plan includes a sweeping modernization of our dysfunctional legal immigration process. It is totally dysfunctional,” Trump said in a speech, noting his administration wants to increase security at the border and reduce claims from asylum seekers.
Trump says the merit-based plan he’s proposing would prioritize “totally brilliant” immigrants.
Right now, U.S. immigration laws “discriminate against genius” and “discriminate against brilliance” because most of the green cards are given to low-skilled people who would make low wages, he said.
Under the new plan, the country would award the same number of green cards as it does now, but far more would go to exceptional students, professionals and people with high-level and vocational degrees.
Factors such as age, English language ability and employment offers would also be considered.
Far fewer green cards would be given to people with relatives already in the U.S. Fifty-seven per cent would be awarded based on merit as opposed to the current 12 per cent.