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By Adam Edelman

President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a sweeping “pro-American” immigration proposal that would revamp the way the U.S. allows legal immigrants to enter the country while beefing up border security, a plan he said “puts the wages and safety of Americans first.”

“Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker,” Trump said during a speech in the White House Rose Garden, adding that the proposal would create a “fair, modern and lawful system of immigration” and was superior to Democratic proposals.

Trump’s plan, some details of which were made public on Wednesday by senior administration officials, avoids hot-button issues like the growing backlog of asylum-seekers and the status of so-called Dreamers and is almost certainly dead on arrival in Congress.

The proposal would create a merit-based immigration system — a change from the family-based immigration system currently in place. It would also put new requirements on immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. In addition to mandated checks like a health screening and background check, entrants would be required to pass a civics test.

Putting in place measures to only allow high-qualified people to enter will help build a skilled workforce while not threatening Americans with blue-collar jobs.

“Newcomers compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans,” Trump said, adding that under the “current system, we’re not able to give preference to a doctor, a researcher, a student who graduates No. 1 in his class from the finest in college in the world.”

“We discriminate against genius. We discriminate against brilliance,” he said. “We won’t anymore.”

Under the plan, which was crafted by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, White House adviser Stephen Miller and economic adviser Kevin Hassett, the number of immigrants entering the country would neither increase nor decrease, but the composition would change. The plan also includes measures to beef up border security.

Currently, based on White House estimates, about 12 percent of people obtaining green cards and citizenship do so based on “employment and skill,” while 66 percent enter based on family connections and 22 percent enter for humanitarian reasons and through the diversity lottery. Under the Trump plan, those numbers would change to 57 percent for employment and skill, 33 percent for family connections and 10 percent for everything else.

On border security, Trump called for scanning improvements at ports of entry, wall completion in 33 designated and prioritized areas, the creation of a fee-based “sustainable fund” to continue to modernize border infrastructure, and modifications to streamline the process for those seeking asylum in the U.S., including expedited adjudication of asylum hearings and “prompt removal of illegal border crossers,” officials told NBC News.

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How Theresa May has FAILED to gain Tory support and faces yet more ’historic defeats’

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THERESA MAY’S Conservatives are slipping down the rankings, according to the latest opinion polls for the European Parliament elections. And the British Prime Minister is in line for even more ‘historic defeats’ as she tries to shoehorn yet another vote on Brexit through Parliament, a negotiations expert has claimed.

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Trump snubs John McCain during bill signing intended to honor him

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.

In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.

The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”

The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.

“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.

McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.

The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.

“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.

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Brexit Party BOOST: Why Farage’s party is 'TROUNCING' the Tories and dominating the polls

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THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS take place in the UK on Thursday and if the polls are anything to go by, it looks as though Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will gain the most seats. But why is the Brexit Party so popular? EXCLUSIVE.

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