Now most of the cards are issued based on family links and diversity visa, and a small section is given to people who are professionals and highly skilled.
To the extent Trump wants to change that, he's on the right track. Critically, however, it would not reduce the total number of immigrants to the United States, more than one million of whom arrive each year.
He also said not tailoring the immigration system to merit means the most vulnerable low-skilled American workers face competition.
"Prospective immigrants will compete through a points based system for the opportunity to come to America on a Build America Visa", the plan states.
"Instead of admitting people through random chance, we will establish simple, universal criteria for admission to the United States".
"Don't come up with a plan that Stephen Miller rubber-stamps and say, 'Now, pass it.' It's not going to happen", Schumer said, referring to Trump's hard-line policy adviser.
As Mr Trump heads into re-election season, his campaign sees the plan as a way to help him look more reasonable on a signature issue - and to show the Democrats as attempting to block him.
"You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net", Trump said.
As part of the plan, officials want to beef up ports of entry and ensure all vehicles and people passing through are screened.
The reports cited statistics that US-owned companies' share of the U.S. automobile market has declined from 67 percent, or 10.5 million units produced and sold in the United States, in 1985, to 22 percent, or 3.7 million units produced and sold in the United States, in 2017. "They're not avoiding getting caught", Graham said. Having said that, from a labor market perspective the proposal is incomplete because of the near-exclusive focus on education as the metric for measuring "high-skilled" immigration.
A Guatemalan toddler who had been held in U.S. Border Patrol custody and then released died in a hospital this week, adding to the tally of children who have fallen ill or died on the border because of the harsh conditions of the journey and in detention.
Gone was the stiff rhetoric of the 2016 campaign, when candidate Trump warned of an "influx of foreign workers" and proposed a "pause" on job-based immigration.
"They also are coming over with educations that can take technical jobs and other types of jobs".
Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), co-author of the RAISE Act, a proposal to introduce a merit-based system, praised Trump for being "serious about finding solutions to fix our broken immigration system and secure our borders", but stopped short of endorsing the bill. Countries like Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada have merit-based systems.
Mr. Trump said the overall level of legal immigration would remain the same, at about 1.1 million people per year, but that the USA should do more to pick newcomers who would boost the economy rather than rely on migrants to pick themselves based on which relatives are already in the country.
"We'd like to even see if we can go higher. This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive", Trump said.
But, while foreign-branded autos are popular in the United States, many automakers have championed their US-based manufacturing operations in places like Alabama, Kentucky and SC.
"The loved ones you choose to build a life with, we prioritise".