(NBC News) – President Trump unveiled a sweeping immigration reform plan Thursday.
The new plan would shift to a merit-based system, prioritizing highly skilled workers while giving fewer green cards to immigrants with family ties in the United States.
“It establishes a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values and attracts the best and the brightest from all around the world,” Mr. Trump said.
The current system awards about 66 percent of green cards to immigrants with families ties and 12 percent based on skills. The president’s plan would reverse that, creating a points based visa system similar to those used by other countries.
It would also require newcomers to learn English and to pass a civics exam.
The plan has little hope of passing in a divided Congress. Democrats say it fails to address millions of immigrants already here illegally, including the so-called “dreamers” brought to the U.S. as children.
“Neither Donald Trump’s grandfather nor my father would be able to come to America under this proposal,” Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal noted.
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