President Donald Trump has announced plans to overhaul the US immigration system by prioritising people who speak English and who have qualifications and job skills.

He put forward his latest plans, not only to increase security at borders, but also to change the way in which people are selected for permanent residency in the United States.

The President said he wants to prioritise people who speak English and who have qualifications and job skills or plans to create employment.

Currently only 12% of people are selected using that criteria and Mr Trump wants to increase that to 57 %.

The plan, roundly panned by Democrats and immigration advocacy groups, is aimed at trying to unite Republicans - some who want to boost immigration, others who want to restrict it - ahead of next year's presidential and congressional elections.

"If for some reason, possibly political, we can't get the Democrats to approve this merit-based, high-security plan, then we will get it approved immediately after the election when we take back the House (of Representatives), keep the Senate, and, of course, hold the presidency," Mr Trump said in a Rose Garden address to Republican lawmakers and Cabinet members.