WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Trump unveiled his long awaited immigration reform proposal on Thursday. The plan will focus on legal immigration in the U.S.
It is merit-based and would prioritize highly-skilled, English-speaking immigrants while making it more difficult for immigrants to bring their families to the U.S.
“The system will finally be fair, transparent and promote equality,” said President Trump.
The president’s plan to fix the nation’s immigation system focuses on a merit based approach. Deputy Assistant to the President Ja’ron Smith said the proposal prioritizes skills and education.
“Thinking about industries of the future and critical needs of the country, and recruiting the best,” said Smith.
President Trump says his goal is to attract the best and the brightest to the U.S. while also securing the border.
“This will be financed by the fees and the revenues generated at the border crossing itself.”
The president’s plan needs support from both parties in order to become law, but the proposal falls short of what lawmakers say they’re willing to accept.
Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner supports immigration reform.
“I do think we need to move in a way that encourages higher quality. Frankly some of folks that come with enormous skills can be an immediate help to our economy,” Warner said.
But Trump’s fails to address a key issue for Warner and other Democrats.
“Democrats are not going to agree to any sort of deal that doesn’t address the fate of the Dreamers or other undocumented immigrants in the country,” said Matt Dallek, a professor at The George Washington University.
Dallek said the president’s proposal won’t satisfy some in his own party either.
“Nativist groups want to see a reduction of immigrants led into the country,” Dallek said. “So they are unhappy.”
Administration officials said the proposal is a first step toward changing the nation’s immigration system and they are open to working with Congress to get legislation passed.