New Trump immigration plan created to sway Republicans, doesn't address DACA

Chuck Schumer looks on during a press conference after the Democratic weekly policy lunch at the Capitol

Chuck Schumer looks on during a press conference after the Democratic weekly policy lunch at the Capitol

President Donald Trump is slated to unveil the plan Thursday, the administration officials said. 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.

The White House is preparing to release a broad outline of proposed immigration reforms aimed at unifying congressional Republicans on the issue, following months of discussions between senior adviser Jared Kushner and dozens of conservative groups, senior administration officials tell CNN.

Graham believes once Republicans rally around a bill that bolsters border security and transitions the U.S.to a more merit-based immigration system, the GOP could then strike a deal with Democrats regarding the millions of illegal aliens already living in the country.

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. Instead, high-skilled people with jobs would be given priority, and could bring with them their spouses and children, the officials told reporters at a White House briefing on Wednesday.

It would harden the border by building more of Trump's coveted southern border wall and improve inspections of goods and people at ports of entry to fight drug smuggling. It would propose an increase in fees collected at the border to pay for border security infrastructure.

"I don't think it's created to get Democratic support as much as it is to unify the Republican Party around border security", Graham said.

It does not address some of the hot-button issues in the immigration debate, such as what to do about the surge of people crossing the southern border from Mexico.

Trump's advisers also have been working on provisions for guest workers for farms and other seasonal employers.

Instead, Kushner and others looked at the legal migration systems of Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand for clues on how to shift USA policy more toward attracting skilled workers and less on uniting extended families.

The applicants would receive points for age, English proficiency and offers of employment at a certain wage threshold in order to protect low-wage American workers, the official said. This was the law under former President Barack Obama but was changed under the Trump administration.

Such a move is likely to benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals on H-1B visa whose current Green Card wait, on an average, is more than a decade. The South Carolina Republican is calling for more immigration judges, requiring Central Americans to lodge asylum claims within their home countries, and reforming how the government handles noncontiguous illegal immigrants.