Republican senators introduce bill sharply limiting legal immigration

President Donald Trump will join two leading Republican senators at the White House on Wednesday to formally introduce a bill that would slash legal immigration levels in half and implement a merit-based system for potential migrants, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. Sonny Perdue of Georgia will be appearing alongside President Trump at the White House later this morning for an announcement.

The bill would create a new points-based system for applicants seeking to become legal permanent residents, favoring those who can speak English, have high-paying job offers, can financially support themselves and offer skills that would contribute to the US economy. The bill would also cut the number of refugee admissions in half, reduce the number of green cards issued to relatives of immigrants already in the U.S., and eliminate entirely the diversity visa lottery now used to allocate permanent residence permits to applicants from around the world. The bill aims to end the diversity visa lottery, which allows 50,000 people from underrepresented countries to obtain green cards.

Both Cotton and Perdue introduced a bill earlier this year that would cut in half the number of green cards issued per year, from 1 million to about 500,000.

"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 said that our current immigration system "has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers".

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Perdue and Cotton have criticized those historically high levels of immigration, saying they flood the US labor market with low-skill workers who drive down wages for poor and working-class Americans.

The proposed reform is the biggest change to United States immigration policies in 50 years, Trump said, and would "restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens" by protecting USA workers from being displaced and helping ensure the newcomers will assimilate and succeed.

Any changes along the lines of the proposed bill would require support from moderate Republican senators such as Sens.

On top of expected Democratic opposition, some Republican senators have expressed skepticism abut cutting legal immigration levels. 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.

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At a rally in OH last week, Trump praised Cotton and Perdue and said he was working with the senators to replace "today's low-scale system, just a bad system where anybody comes in".

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.

Trump said those hit hardest have been the immigrants themselves, as well as minority workers.

It's not clear how much support there is in the Senate for such a bill.

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"Our current system does not work. If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state's economy which relies on this immigrant workforce", Graham said on Wednesday.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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