Trump & Senators Make Immigration Policy Announcement

Trump & Senators Make Immigration Policy Announcement

Trump & Senators Make Immigration Policy Announcement

President Donald Trump plans to join with two Republican senators to unveil legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration.

President Trump threw his support Wednesday behind a Senate bill that would cut legal immigration in half and implement a new merit-based system that emphasis English-speaking immigrants who can demonstrate job skills. "That's not just true at the high-skilled, but low-skilled level", said Jeremy Robbins, the executive director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, the pro-reform group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Current immigration law allows USA citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their parents, siblings and married adult children for immigrant visas.

The White House said the RAISE Act is "aimed at creating a skills-based immigration system that will make America more competitive, raise wages for American workers, and create jobs".

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".

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"The bottom line here is that the President believes we should have a merit-based system of immigration in this country", the official told CNN.

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 US taxpayers". "The RAISE Act prevents new immigrants from collecting welfare and protects USA workers from being displaced".

The GOP legislation would eliminate programs that grant low-skilled immigrants permanent residency and would prioritize applicants who are fluent in English, are financially self-sufficient and have a demonstrable skill.

It also sets a 50,000 annual cap on refugees, instead of a level mandated by the president.

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Even with Trump's support, the bill faces an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled Senate.

"The bottom line is to cut immigration by half a million people, legal immigration, doesn't make much sense", said Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of NY, who called it a "nonstarter".

The current US immigration system favours uniting family members with relatives already in the country.

"They're not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare.They can't do that", he said. He says that one of the main motivations to pass the bill is to prevent the displacement of American workers - a claim that's echoed by Cotton, who has said that while immigrant rights groups might view the current system as a "symbol of America virtue and generosity", he sees it "as a symbol we're not committed to working-class Americans and we need to change that". "Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family".

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