03 August, 2017
President Trump introduced new legislation Wednesday with Sens.
"This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and puts America first", Trump said, speaking straight to his most loyal voters.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday unveiled legislation meant to slash legal immigration to the United States by reducing the amount of low-skilled immigrants who are allotted green cards.
Immigration restrictionists were elated over the re-introduction of the RAISE Act, noting that it would limit "immigration rights" to immediate family members like spouses and children.
Immigration advocacy groups are opposed, as are many economists who say the nation, with an aging population and low fertility rate, should be encouraging an influx of younger workers to spur economic growth.
Trump couched the Cotton-Perdue sponsored bill in the familiar language of resentment, arguing that such drastic measures "will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars". "We want it merit-based", Trump said.
According to ABC News, the bill will be aimed at cutting legal immigration to the country.
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement the proposal would "help the Department of Justice perform its duties to uphold our nation's immigration law and end the unlawful abuse of our public benefits program that undermine USA taxpayers".
"Our system is broken, but the response should be to modernize it, not take a sledgehammer to it", said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of New American Economy, a group of business leaders, mayors and others backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.
Plans are to eliminate diversity lottery visas and limit the number of refugees offered permanent residency.
The White House said that only 1 in 15 immigrants comes to the US due to their skills, and the current system fails to place a priority on highly skilled immigrants.
That bill has stalled for months in the Senate.
The original version of the bill cut back on what's referred to as "chain migration", ways of immigrating to the United States that are based on family or not based on skills.
"Restricting family members from joining their families in the U.S. will make it harder for them to become fully American", the National Immigration Forum's executive director Ali Noorani said in a statement.
Trump has long said he wants to reform the nation's immigration system, but any plan to do that seems like less of a priority for an administration that is now focused on health care, tax reform and a host of worldwide issues. Trump has previously couched support for the bill in terms of protecting American workers, who he says are hurt by the current immigration system.