1. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"We're here on this very beautiful spring day in the Rose Garden to unveil our plan to create a fair, modern and lawful system of immigration for the United States. And it's about time. (applause) If adopted, our plan will transform America's immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world.
2. Cutaway of crowd
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Random selection is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world who have much to contribute. While countless and you wouldn't believe how many countries like Canada create a clear path for top talent, America does not. Under these senseless rules of the current system, we're not able to give preference to a doctor, a researcher, a student who graduated number one in his class from the finest colleges in the world."
4. Cutaway of crowd
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Companies are moving offices to other countries because our immigration rules prevent them from retaining highly skilled and even, if I might, totally brilliant people. We discriminate against genius. We discriminate against brilliance. We won't anymore once we get this passed and we hope to get it passed as soon as possible."
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7. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Finally, to promote integration, assimilation and national unity. Future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission."
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9. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Today, we are presenting a clear contrast. 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. (applause) Our proposal is pro-American, pro immigrant and pro worker. It's just common sense. It will help all of our people, including millions of devoted immigrants, to achieve the American dream."
President Donald Trump unveiled a new immigration plan Thursday, looking to convince the public and lawmakers that the U.S. legal migration system needs to be overhauled.
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said his plan aims to create a "fair, modern and lawful system of immigration for the United States," that would prioritize "totally brilliant" immigrants.
The latest effort, spearheaded by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, focuses on beefing up border security and rethinking the nation's green card system so that it would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of relatives of those already in the country.
The proposed shift to a more merit-based system prioritizing high-skilled workers would mark a dramatic departure from the nation's largely family based approach, which officials said gives roughly 66% of green cards to those with family ties and 12% based on skills.
"We discriminate against genius," Trump said of current policies, which he contended excessively favor family based immigration. "We discriminate against brilliance. We won't anymore once we get this passed."
Under the new plan, the U.S. would award the same number of green cards as it now does. 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.
The plan does not address what to do about the millions of immigrants already living in the country illegally, including hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. as children — a top priority for Democrats. Nor does it reduce overall rates of immigration, as many conservative Republicans would like to see.
The plan is not yet embraced by his own party — let alone Democrats — and faces an uphill battle in Congress.