White House Unveils Reforms to Slash Legal Immigration Levels

03 August, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Trump, senators to unveil skills-based immigration bill | Democrats surge ahead on generic ballot: poll

The RAISE Act reduces overall immigration numbers to limit low-skilled and unskilled labor entering the United States. The election of Donald Trump signaled that the American people want to see a change. And since Republicans only hold 52 seats, that would require the support of eight Democrats while also assuming every Republican backs the legislation.

The bill aims to alter the USA immigration system to favor immigrants who speak English, have financial stability and demonstrate useful skills.

"It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers", Trump said of the current immigration system, specifically citing low-income and minority workers. Trump vowed to crack down on illegal immigration during his campaign and signed two executive orders soon after taking office to increase border security and interior enforcement.

The bill aims to end the diversity visa lottery, which allows 50,000 people from underrepresented countries to obtain green cards. Senator Lindsey Graham, from SC, said his state is dependent on immigrant labor to sustain the two biggest sectors of the economy, agriculture and tourism.

"Over years, that has massively deskilled the migrant flow into America and produced all of those effects I'm talking about", Miller said.

President Donald Trump has backed an immigration overhaul that would reduce the number of permanent, legal migrants allowed in the USA each year.


To achieve the reductions and create what they call a "merit-based system", Cotton and Perdue are taking aim at green cards for extended family members of USA citizens and legal permanent residents, limiting such avenues for grown children and siblings. Trump has met twice at the White House with Cotton and Perdue to discuss the details of their legislation, which is titled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act.

"For over a quarter century, the United States has accepted an average of 1 million immigrants annually - the equivalent of adding the entire state of Montana each year".

"As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects USA workers and taxpayers, and that is why we are here today", Trump said.

Legal immigrants are coming into the country at historic lows, Bier said.

The legislation also proposed to limit green cards to 50,000 refugees a year, which is in line with the 13-year average. They stressed that the legislation was narrowly focused, an approach they hoped would be able to get bipartisan support.

Our immigration system should continue to value families. The administration says they are struggling to earn a middle-class wage because of the influx of cheaper foreign workers who depress wages.

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