Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at her weekly news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 16, 2019. Pelosi says the U.S. must avoid war with Iran, and she says the White House has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Latest: Pelosi slams merit-based Trump immigration plan

May 16, 2019 - 12:43 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's immigration plan (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump's emphasis on merit-based immigration is "condescending" because families have merit, too.

Trump is unveiling a new immigration proposal and Pelosi told reporters she welcomes White House officials who want to come to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers.

But shifting away from a family-based immigration system to one that favors immigrants with high skills is running into resistance from Democrats.

Pelosi said they want to attract "the best to our country." But she asked if Trump means family is without merit. She said it's what merit means "in the eyes of Donald Trump."

Trump's plan does not include protections for immigrants known as Dreamers, and Pelosi said Democrats want to help those young people who were brought here illegally in childhood.

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10:25 a.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Donald Trump's immigration plan doesn't include young "Dreamer" immigrants because past plans involving them have failed.

Trump, who's rolling out his plan later Thursday, has dismayed Democrats by trying to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA protects hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

Sanders tells reporters that "every single time that we have put forward or anyone else has put forward any type of immigration plan that has included DACA it's failed."

Trump's latest plan has been spearheaded by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. It focuses on border security and overhauling the legal immigration system to favor people with skills, rather than favoring family ties.

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12:05 a.m.

A new immigration proposal from President Donald Trump focuses on bolstering border security and rethinking the green card system.

The shift would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of relatives of those already in the country.

Trump is scheduled to roll out the plan Thursday afternoon at the White House. Democrats already criticizing it, and some Republicans have reservations as well.

The plan, as previewed by the White House, doesn't address the millions of immigrants already living in the country illegally. They include hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. as children. Their fate is a priority for Democrats.

The plan also doesn't reduce overall rates of immigration, as many conservatives would like to see.

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