04:40 GMT21 January 2021
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    During a press conference on Thursday, US President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s new merit-based legal immigration proposal aiming to increase the proportion of high-skilled immigrants allowed entry into the United States.

    The plan, presented to journalists during a press conference on the White House lawn, would replace the United States’ existing permanent residence — or green — card categories with a points-based system that would provide preferential treatment to young, educated individuals.

    "We will replace the existing green card categories with a new visa, the 'Build America' visa," Trump told reporters. "Like Canada and so many other modern countries, we’ll create an easy to navigate points-based selection system. You'll get more points for being a younger worker…. You'll get more points for having a valuable skill, an offer of employment, an advanced education or a plan to create jobs."

    According to Trump, the plan aims to increase the proportion of highly-skilled immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent. It would also require immigrants to learn English and to pass a civics examination prior to being admitted into the United States.

    The proposal also seeks to reunite unaccompanied migrant children apprehended at the US border with their families back in their home countries, Trump added.

    READ MORE: Senator Graham Unveils Proposal to Tackle Humanitarian Crisis at US Border

    The US president noted that if his plan does not pass in Congress, his administration will wait until after the 2020 US presidential election to approve the proposal. Trump claims he will be re-elected and Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.

    The proposal comes in the midst of a crisis on the US southern border which escalated last fall when a caravan which included thousands of people from Central American countries reached the US. Recent data from Customs and Border Protection showed that the CBP apprehended or turned away more than 109,000 migrants attempting to cross the border in April, marking the second month in a row the number has topped 100,000.


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    US-Mexico Border, Green Card, immigration plan, visa, immigration policy, Immigration, Donald Trump, US
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