Donald Trump has used a portion of his maiden speech to Congress to praise Australia‘s “merit-based” approach to immigration and indicated that he plans to move the US in the same direction.

The speech was an interesting one – well, sort of. It’s an hour long and he was interrupted with a lengthy standing ovation every 30 seconds, so it wasn’t exactly riveting, but it’s interesting in that it set a new tone for Trump, one seemingly cultivated to appease the Republicans that have reservations about him, the Democrats that refuse to work with him, and the large portion of the population who would like to see him overthrown.

Giving up the incoherent ranting emblematic of his usual oratorical style, Trump was well-rehearsed and trying very hard to distance himself from the more extreme views associated with his supporters – a move that might win him some points with moderates but probably won’t fare so well with his more hardcore supporters, who prefer him to be off the cuff and unconcerned about who he will offend.

As always, immigration was the major theme of the address, which he apparently believes to be both the cause and solution to every single one of the US’ problems. He stated that they need to look at us and Canada for how to do things properly:

“Nations around the world like Canada, Australia and many others have merit-based immigration systems. It’s a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially.

“Yet in America we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.

“Switching away from this current system of lower skilled immigration and instead adopting a merit-based system, we will have so many more benefits.”

Because, of course, America’s horrible wage problems have nothing to do with its largely horrendous minimum wage state-by-state and those issues will magically go away if you only bring in skilled migrants:

“It will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families, including immigrant families, enter the middle class, and they will do it quickly, and they will be very, very happy indeed.

“I believe strongly in free trade, but it also has to be fair trade. It’s been a long time since we had fair trade.

“The current outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on taxpayers.”

To cap it off with his usual flourish, Trump blamed the supposed growth in crime that he keeps referring to on immigrants, despite the fact that they commit crime at a lower rate than the general population. Statistics are tricky, though, hey.

Source: News.com.au.

Photo: Getty Images / Anadolu Agency.