Trump backs GOP plan to push legal immigration changes

Trump backs GOP plan to push legal immigration changes

Trump backs GOP plan to push legal immigration changes

After a crackdown on illegal immigration that has sharply reduced the number of unauthorized border crossings from Mexico, U.S. President Donald Trump is now turning his attention to reducing the number of legal immigrants in the country.

Trump announced his support for the RAISE Act at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, alongside Cotton and Perdue, throwing his weight behind what he called a new "merit-based" system.

He said the new system would "favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy".

Mr. Trump said the US has for decades issued green cards to "record numbers of low-wage immigrants", and said it puts pressure on unskilled workers who are USA citizens already.

The measure prioritizes immediate family members of US residents, including spouses and minor children, but would end preferences for extended family members and adult children.

In what will likely prove to be the most controversial provision, the bill would dramatically reduce overall immigration levels by doing away with chain migration.

The measure, known as the RAISE Act, "will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars", Mr. Trump said.

Our immigration system should continue to value families.

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Top advisers, including current Attorney General Jeff Sessions and policy aide Stephen Miller, have long championed restrictions on foreign workers and legal immigrants, who they argue depress wages. Immigration to the USA since the passage of that Act is responsible for the vibrant and diverse country that we have today.

But the legislation faces an uphill climb to get through Congress where some senior Republicans back comprehensive immigration reform, not a tough crackdown. The bill would do that by taking away preference for immigrants who do not have immediate family members in the U.S.

The bill also caps annual refugee admissions at 50,000 and completely eliminates the diversity visa lottery, a Department of State program that awards immigrant visas to people from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the U.S. That bill's headed straight down the toilet in the Senate, needless to say; the Democratic Party has sound electoral reasons to prefer poorer immigrants.

"Hotels, restaurants, golf courses and farmers will tell you this proposal - to cut legal immigration in half - would put their businesses in peril", he said in a statement.

Perdue said the proposed new immigration system will be both pro-growth and pro-economic growth.

"They're not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare.They can't do that", he said.

"Instead of today's low-skill system - just a bad system where anybody comes in, people that have never worked, people that are criminals, anybody comes in - we want a merit-based system, one that protects workers, our workers, our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy", Trump said.

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