Republicans and Democrats have fought for years about how to overhaul outdated immigration laws, and the battle has become even more polarized since 2016 when Trump ran for office on a pledge to build a wall on the southern U.S. border to keep out migrants entering the country illegally. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the speech.
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and White House hardline immigration adviser Stephen Miller were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday talking to senators about Trump's plans. But on another track, he said, "You need to deal with the magnets and loopholes in the law that entice people to come who want to get caught".
"I don't think it's created to get Democratic support as much as it is to unify the Republican Party around border security", Graham said.
Graham told reporters he was prepared to work with Democrats on moving the bill in Congress, including other immigration-related goals Democrats are pursuing.
"I think the president feels, and rightfully so, that politically speaking, no lowering of the number, or raising of number - keeping a steady number - is probably the safe doable space that they are searching for".
"If we do these four things, then the incentives created by our laws will cease to exist, this humanitarian disaster will begin to fix itself and I am willing to sit down with Democrats and find a way to address the underlying problem in Central America", he said.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower immigration rates, applauded a "very positive effort" on legal immigration, but said it was "undermined by the embrace of the current very high level of immigration".
"If the president botches this, it could cost all Republicans dearly in 2020", Vaughan said.
He said the border needs to be secured "so that people can't cross illegally if they are trying to avoid detection". The plan also does not include provisions to help farmers and other seasonal employers obtain more guest workers.
The plan does not address what to do about the millions of immigrants already living in the country illegally, including hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamers" brought to the U.S.as children - a top priority for Democrats.
Lisa Koop, director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center, also criticized the various planks of the proposal, including its failure to address those brought to the USA illegally as children who are now protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, which Trump has tried to end.