President Trump announced his new immigration plan in a speech from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.
“Today we are presenting a clear contrast,” President Trump said, adding, “Democrats are proposing opening borders, lower wages, and lawless chaos. We are proposing a plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first.”
“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,” he said.
Trump said his plan achieves two critical goals – first, it stops illegal immigration and fully secures the border, and second, it establishes a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world.
The president said this plan was not developed by politicians, but was designed with input from our law enforcement professionals on what they need to protect the borders.
The physical infrastructure and the ports of entry on the border are woefully underfunded and inadequate, he said, noting the importance of stopping the flow of drugs, while speeding up legal trade and commerce.
Our proposal creates a permanent and self-sustaining trust fund. This will be financed by the fees and revenues generated at the border crossings, he said.
He thanked the Army Corp of Engineers for their work on the border wall, and said they should have close to 400 miles of border wall built by the end of next year.
“As we close the gaps in our physical framework, we must also close the gaps in our legal framework. Critical to ending the border crisis is removing all incentives for the smuggling of women and children,” Trump said.
Current law and federal court rulings encourage criminal organizations to smuggle children across the border, he said. “Our plan will change the law to stop the flood of child smuggling, and to humanely reunite unaccompanied children with their families back at home,” he added.
“We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system. Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims to gain abuse into our country,” he said, adding that asylum abuse strains our public school systems, our hospitals and public shelters, using funds that should go to elderly veterans and Americans in poverty.”
“My plan expedites relief for legitimate asylum seekers by screening out meritless claims, “Trump said, adding that if a person doesn’t have a legitimate claim, they will promptly be returned home.
The president is proposing a merit-based immigration reform. “Random selection is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world… we discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed,” he said.
President Trump said his immigration plan “makes no change to the number of Green Cards allocated each year,” but “we will be replace the existing Green Card categories with a new visa — the ‘Build America Visa'” based on a “points-based selection system.”
WATCH HIS FULL SPEECH IN THE VIDEO BELOW.