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HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump Delivers Remarks on Modernizing our Immigration System for a Stronger America

HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump Delivers Remarks on Modernizing our Immigration System for a Stronger America

ON THE WHITE HOUSE IMMIGRATION PLAN

Today, President Trump unveiled his plan to fully secure our southern border and reform our outdated immigration system.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re here on this very beautiful spring day in the Rose Garden to unveil our plan to create a fair, modern and lawful system of immigration for the United States and it’s about time. If adopted, our plan will transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Our 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’s plan is pro-immigrant and will protect the American dream for American workers and immigrants.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “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.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Our policies have turbo charged our economy.  Now, we must implement an immigration system that will allow our citizens to prosper for generations to come.”

While Democrats are promoting open borders that sow chaos and lower American wages, the President is proposing solutions that put American workers first.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, we are presenting a clear contrast. Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages, and, frankly, lawless chaos, we are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages, and safety of American workers first.”

It is time to unify and create an immigration system that makes America safer and stronger.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Many of the Democrats have claimed to be for these concepts at different times in their careers, and in many cases in very recent history. And I hope that they will end up joining me and all of the people gathered today in putting politics aside, putting security and wages first, and pursuing these historic reforms. It’s time.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “It’s time to restore our national unity and reaffirm our national purpose. It is time to rebuild our country for all Americans. Together, we will create an immigration system to make America safer, stronger, and greater than ever before.”

ON SECURING THE BORDER

President Trump’s proposal will fully secure our southern border.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Americans can have complete and total confidence that under this plan, the border will be finally, fully and totally secured.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The proposal begins with the most complete and effective border security package ever assembled by our country or any other country, for that matter. So important.”

President Trump designed his plan with input from border patrol and law enforcement to ensure it meets their needs.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “This plan was not developed I’m sorry to say by the politicians. We have a lot of politicians, but you respect the people and you know the people who have developed this plan. It was designed with significant input from our great law enforcement professionals to detail what they need to make our border which is one hundred percent operationally secure.”

Everyone agrees that our physical infrastructure on the border is inadequate and must be updated to stop drugs from pouring into American communities.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Everyone agrees that the physical infrastructure on the border and the points of entry is gravely underfunded and woefully inadequate.  We scan only a small fraction of the vehicles, goods and all of the other things coming across, including people and sadly the drugs pour across our border. We’re going to stop it. “

Under this proposal, a permanent border security trust fund would be created to modernize ports of entry with state of the art technology to help detect drugs and speed up legal trade.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Our proposal creates a permanent and self-sustaining border security trust fund. This will be financed by the fees and revenues generated at the border crossings itself.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Investment in technology will ensure we scan 100% of everything coming through, curbing the drugs and contraband, while speeding up legal trade and commerce.”

The wall is currently being built with approximately 400 miles expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Importantly, we're already building the wall, and we should have close to 400 miles built by the end of next year and probably even more than that. It’s going up very rapidly. And I want to thank the army corps of engineers. They’re doing a fantastic job on the wall and that's a wall that is desperately needed.”

CLOSING LOOPHOLES

The President’s plan reforms our broken asylum system by screening out meritless claims that have mired the system.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “My plan expedites relief for legitimate asylum-seekers by screening out the meritless claims.  If you have a proper claim, you will quickly be admitted – if you don’t, you will be promptly returned home.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system. Our nation has a proud history of affording protection to those fleeing government persecutions. Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims. These are frivolous claim to gain admission into our country.”

Asylum abuse strains our public school system, hospitals, and resources for Americans in poverty.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Asylum abuse also strains our public school systems, our hospitals and local shelters, using funds that we should and that have to go to elderly veterans, at-risk youth, Americans and poverty and those in genuine need of protection. We’re using the funds that should be going to them, and that shouldn't happen, and it's not going to happen in a very short period of time. Have to get this approved.”

The proposal ends the legal incentives that encourage kidnapping and human smuggling of innocent children and women.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “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 smuggling women and children.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Current law and federal court rulings encourage criminal organizations to smuggle children across the border. The tragic result is that 65 percent of all border-crossers this year were either minors or adults travelling with minors. Our plan will change the law to stop the flood of child smuggling – and to humanely reunite unaccompanied children with their families back home and rapidly – as soon as possible.”

It will close loopholes that have allowed gang members and criminals into American communities.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Crucially, our plan closes loopholes in federal law to make clear that gang members and criminals are inadmissible – these are some of the worst people anywhere in the world. MS-13 and others. Inadmissible. Not coming in. We’re taking them out all the time by the thousands a year. But they come in, but they are no longer admissible. And for criminals already here, we will ensure their swift deportation. We will keep our communities safe.”

REFORMS TO OUR LEGAL IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

The President’s plan will reform our legal immigration system, making it a more fair, modern, and transparent.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “A topic of less discussion in national media, but of vital importance to our country, is our legal immigration system itself. Our plan includes a sweeping modernization of our dysfunctional legal immigration process. It is totally dysfunctional. The system will finally be fair, transparent, and promote equality and opportunity for all.”

Our outdated immigration system has not been updated since 1965.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “America’s last major overhaul of our legal admissions policy was 54 years ago. Think of that.”

Currently, the majority of legal immigrant admissions into America are based on family ties or random chance.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Currently, 66 percent of legal immigrants come here on the basis of random chance – they’re admitted solely because they have a relative in the United States. And it doesn’t really matter who that relative is.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Another 21 percent of immigrants are issued either by random lottery, or because they’re fortunate enough to be selected for humanitarian relief. Random selection is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world who have much to contribute.” 

Only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill and merit.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill or based on merit. In countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and others, that number is closer to 60%, and even 70%, and 75% in some cases.”

Under the current system, we are not able to prioritize skilled workers.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Under the senseless rules of the current system, we’re not able to give preference to a doctor, a researcher, a student who graduated number one in his class from the finest colleges in the world. Anybody, we’re not able to take care of it. We’re not able to make those incredible breakthroughs. If somebody graduates top of their class from the best college, sorry – go back to your country. We want to keep them here.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Some of the most skilled students at our world-class universities are going back home because they have no relatives to sponsor them here in the United States. And that’s the only way. We want these exceptional students and workers to stay, and flourish, and thrive in America.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We lose people that want to start companies and in many cases, they're forced to leave our country, go back usually to the country where they came from, and they'll startup companies and some of those companies are among the biggest and most successful companies today in the world. They could have started them right here in the United States, where they wanted to do it in the first place. Now, they’ll have a chance.”

Current law brings in waves of low skilled workers which lowers wages and places stress our social safety net.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “As a result of our broken rules, the annual green card flow is mostly low-wage and low-skilled. Newcomers compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans, and put pressure on our social safety net and generous welfare programs.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “As a result of our broken rules, the annual green card flow is mostly low-wage and low-skilled. Newcomers compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans, and put pressure on our social safety net and generous welfare programs.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “3 in 4 new jobs at the end of last year went to Americans previously out of the workforce. Our economy is better probably than it ever has been in the history of our country. And because of that great economy we’re able to do things that nobody ever thought possible before and that’s what we’re going to do for immigration finally. Wages are rising – but our current immigration system works at cross-purposes, placing downward pressure on wages for the working class, which is what we don’t want to do.”

Further, low-skilled immigration is hurting Americans recently released from prison seeking a second chance.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Americans with criminal records are getting a second chance at life in higher numbers than ever before.  Unfortunately, the current immigration rules allow foreign workers to substitute for Americans seeking entry-level jobs, so foreign workers are coming in and their taking the jobs that would normally go to American workers. America’s immigration system should bring in people who will expand opportunity for striving, low-income Americans – not to compete with those low-income Americans.”

President Trump’s proposal increases high-skilled immigration to 57 percent. Priority will be given to higher-wage workers to ensure we never undercut American labor.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The biggest change we make is to increase the proportion of highly-skilled immigration from 12%to 57% and we’d like to even see if we can go higher.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Priority will be also be given to higher-wage workers, ensuring we never undercut American labor. To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient.”

Instead of admitting people through random chance, the President’s proposal implements a skills-based point system similar to what many other countries have.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Instead of admitting people through random chance, we will establish simple, universal criteria for admission to the United States. No matter where in the world you are born, no matter who your relatives are, if you want to become an American citizen, it will be clear exactly what standard we ask you to achieve. It will be made crystal clear. This will increase the diversity of immigration flows into our country.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We will replace the existing green card categories with a new visa, the Build America visa. Which is what we all want to hear. Like Canada and so many other modern countries, we create an easy to navigate points-based selection system. You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net. You will get more points for having a valuable skill, an offer of employment, an advanced education, or a plan to create jobs.”

The proposal prioritizes spouses and children to ensure that families, the building block of American society, can come to our country and build a life together. 

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “At the same time, we prioritize the immediate family of new Americans – spouses and children – the loved ones you choose to build a life with.”

This plan will make no change to the number of green cards issued each year.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The White House plan makes no change to the number of green cards allocated each year.”

Finally, the plan includes an English proficiency and civics exam to ensure immigrants share our values and can succeed in our economy.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Finally, to promote integration, assimilation, and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission. Through these steps, we will deliver an immigration system that respects and even strengthens our culture, our traditions and our values.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Our proposal builds upon our nation’s rich history of immigration, while strengthening the bonds of citizenship that bind us together as a national family.”

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