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Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigration


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President Trump on Wednesday teamed up with two conservative Republican senators to roll out new legislation aimed at dramatically curbing legal immigration to the United States, a key Trump campaign promise.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) have been working with White House officials to revise and expand a bill released earlier this year that would halve the number of people who receive legal permanent residence over a decade.


The senators joined Trump at a White House ceremony to announce the measure.
The president told reporters in the Roosevelt Room that the measure “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century." 
 
They say the legislation would move the United States to a "merit-based" immigration system and away from the current model, which is largely based on family ties.
 
The measure reflects Trump’s rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, when he argued that the spike in legal immigration over the past several decades has taken job opportunities away from American citizens and threatened national security.:snip:

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Senator Tom Cotton On The RAISE Act, North Korea, Afghanistan and General H.R. McMaster

Hugh Hewitt

Thu, Aug 3, 2017 

 

Audio

 

(Snip)

 

HH: Wow. All right, now let’s switch to domestic policy. You were at the White House yesterday. You announced the RAISE Act. First of all, tell us about your co-sponsors, what the bill does, and how the President sees it.

TC: Yeah, so I wrote this bill with David Perdue. The President is strongly supportive of it. He’s been involved in the drafting of it. We introduced it earlier this year. He asked for some expansion of it, and we did that. The problem, Hugh, is that our immigration system doesn’t work for working Americans. We accept a million people into this country every single year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every year or adding the population of Arkansas every three years. The vast majority of those immigrants, though, are unskilled and low-skilled workers. Only one in fifteen, one in fifteen enter this country on a green card because of their job skills. This is happening at a time when Americans with a high school degree or less have seen their wages fall consistently throughout the 40 years of my life. Those two facts are related, and it’s time we did something about it. It’s time that we refocused our immigration system on ulta high-skilled individuals who are not going to compete for jobs and drive down wages for Americans who work with their hands and work on their feet, and who are going to bring their entrepreneurial spirit and their skills and their innovative capability to America to help our economy stay competitive in the world, and create more jobs for all other Americans, whether their ancestors came over on the Mayflower, or whether they just took the oath of citizenship last week.

HH: So you are pro-immigration, but you want immigration to be smart. And I want to talk about yesterday, Amazon hired, or this week they are hiring 40-50,000 people for warehouse work. Now that is classic blue-collar work. Your bill would assure that the people standing in those very long lines in Columbus and elsewhere yesterday and the day before are not competing against people who recently entered legally via family sponsorship. Is that basically what the problem with our current system is, is that it’s chained, daisy-chained?

TC: Well, so Hugh, to be precise, our bill focuses only on one part of our legal immigration system. So it doesn’t focus on security or enforcement or what to do about illegal immigrants today. And within legal immigration, only on green cards, not on temporary guest worker programs, which can be more controversial. But for the million green cards we give out every year, we’re saying we should reduce that number because of the historically high level of unskilled and low-skilled immigrations coming into this country. So working-class Americans who have seen pressure on their wages for decades will have a decent shot at a good wage and rising standards of living. We also want to say we’re going to become more competitive in the world, and we’re going to attract more people who can ply their scientific or engineering or computer backgrounds who are going to invest money and manage that investment to create more jobs for those very same Americans. Again, that’s whether your family has been here for generations, or whether you just took the oath of citizenship, because of course, the people who are hurt most, economically, by continued waves of mass migration are recent immigrants, because they’re competing for the same jobs.

 

(Snip)

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