Washington, US President Donald Trump has unveiled new 'merit-based' immigration policy plans that aim to increase the proportion of skilled migration to the country.
In a speech at the White House on Thursday, Trump laid out a merit-based plan that would give preferential treatment to high-skilled workers.He said the current immigration laws "discriminate against genius" and "discriminate against brilliance" because most of the legal immigrants are low-skilled people who would make low wages.
He further proposed moving away from the current system that favours applicants with family ties to the US, adding that border security would be beefed up and a tougher line taken on asylum seekers, BBC said.
Senior Democrats dismissed his ideas as "dead-on-arrival".
They say the proposed new system fails to offer a route to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers" - hundreds of thousands of people brought to the US as children but who still have no legal right to remain.
In the White House Rose Garden, President Trump said his plans would make US immigration "the envy of the modern world".
"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 said.
"The biggest change we make is to increase the proportion of highly skilled immigration from 12 per cent to 57per cent and we would like to even see if we can go higher."
"Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims."