WASHINGTON: Amending the concept of green card, Donald Trump on Thursday said that he will be introducing 'Build America' visa in place of the existing green cards with, as the US President revealed a new merit and points-based immigration policy that plans to increase the quota for highly-skilled workers from 12 to 57 per cent.
Every year the US issues nearly 1.1 million green cards, which grants foreign nationals life-time permission to live and work in the US and a path to citizenship in five years.
In the present time, most of cards are issued based on family links and diversity visa, and a small section is given to people who are professionals and highly skilled.
Trump said that he wanted to change the old procedure and also proposed his opinion. "Our proposal fulfills our sacred duty to those living here today, while ensuring America remains a welcoming country to immigrants joining us tomorrow. We want immigrants coming in," Trump said in a major immigration policy address in the Rose Garden of the White House.
"We cherish the open door that we want to create for our country, but a big proportion of those immigrants must come in through merit and skill," he added.
There is no change made in the number of green cards allocated per year. "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're 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," Trump said.
"This will increase the diversity of immigration flows into our country. We will replace the existing green card categories with a new visa, the Build America visa - which is what we all want to hear," Trump expressed with joy in the middle of applause for him.
"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," he said.
The President said first concern will also be given to higher-wage workers to ensure the American labor is never weakening. To safeguard benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially sound, he said.
"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," Trump said.
"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," he added.
"The loved ones you choose to build a life with, we prioritize. And we have to do that. They go right to the front of the line. Right to the front of the line, where they should be," Trump said.