Trump joining with GOP senators to push immigration changes

Trump Tries to Cut Legal Immigration by Half

Trump Tries to Cut Legal Immigration by Half

President Trump will join Republican Sens.

The bill, Trump said, "would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century".

But the president is mischaracterizing numerous immigrants coming to the United States as low-skilled and dependent on government aid. His paper Breitbart sums up the political messaging Trump wants America's farmers to hear - "If the RAISE act becomes law, Democrats and their business allies would lose the huge annual inflow of immigrants whom they expect will soon bring them national political dominance". Finally, the RAISE Act would get rid of the outdated and irrational "diversity visa lottery" that annually awards 50,000 visas in a lottery system without any regard to the economic cost the immigrants may impose on American taxpayers and workers. The bill would do that by taking away preference for immigrants who do not have immediate family members in the U.S.

Cotton and Perdue have worked on the bill with Stephen Miller, a top White House aide and speechwriter, and an immigration restrictionist, Politico reported in July.

That's because the bill would require 60 votes in the Senate to proceed. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC, and many Senate Democrats oppose making partial changes to immigration law without creating a pathway to legal status for immigrants who arrived in the country illegally and put down roots.

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Some immigrant advocates have criticized the proposal, saying that slashing legal immigration would hurt industries like agriculture and harm the economy.

By contrast, the USA took in an average of about 1.1 million legal immigrants annually from 2000 to 2015, according to the Migration Policy Institute. "After dealing with this issue for more than a decade, I know that when you restrict legal labor to employers it incentivizes cheating". The chart below from Deutsche Bank economist Torsten Slok shows just how misguided a more restrictive immigration policy would be from a purely demographic perspective - just imagine the long-run hit to growth. 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". It would also require sponsors immigrants of who want to become USA citizens to reimburse the federal government for all of the means-tested federal benefits received during the alien's first five years in the United States.

Despite support from the president, the bill would face an uphill battle in making its way through Congress.

Shortly after the Trump rolled out the bill, Senator Chuck Schumer said that the bill was a "non-starter". The main takeaway from the bill is that the United States would switch to what has been described as a "merit-based" immigration system.