White House Says Trump Has No Plans To Shift Cabinet Members

by Garry Watts August 3, 2017, 0:22
White House Says Trump Has No Plans To Shift Cabinet Members

The bill is expected to half the number of immigrants legally admitted to the US over the next decade, the Hill explains: Earlier this year Cotton and Perdue introduced legislation that they said would effectively halve the number of green cards issued each year from 1 million to roughly 500,000.

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.

Mr. Trump said the US has for decades issued green cards to "record numbers of low-wage immigrants", and said it puts pressure on unskilled workers who are USA citizens already.

The bill, which has not moved through the Senate, also calls for limiting admission of migrants' family members, ending the diversity visa lottery program, and making the process of obtaining "green card" work permits more hard.

Immigration advocacy groups are opposed, as are many economists who say the nation, with an aging population and low fertility rate, should be encouraging an influx of younger workers to spur economic growth.

Cotton and Perdue's early version of the legislation had proposed a 50% reduction in annual immigration over the next 10 years, allotting green cards for just 539,958 immigrants in 2027 compared to the 1,051,031 that received them in 2015.

The changes proposed in their bill, called the RAISE Act, would be the "biggest change in 50 years" to the immigration system, Trump said, and reflect the administration's "compassion for struggling American families that deserve an immigrant system that puts their needs first". It has the potential to seriously restrict the flow of legal immigrants into the country, all - ostensibly - in the name of protecting unskilled American workers.

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Trump called the bill the biggest change to US immigration policy in 50 years.

The legislation has already received significant support from White House officials such as senior adviser Stephen Miller, who helped Cotton and Perdue craft the bill, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has long decried legal immigration levels and argued that an influx of Asian immigrants has overwhelmed America's schools and technology sector.

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.

While Perdue's office says the bill does not include a "hard and fast cap" on the number of family-based visas that would be issued, it does seek to bring overall immigration levels to "historic norms".

"Restricting family members from joining their families in the USA will make it harder for them to become fully American", the National Immigration Forum's executive director Ali Noorani said in a statement. The potentially controversial legislation would dramatically tilt American immigration law towards a more merit-based system.

The proposal "ends chain migration", Trump said, referring to the preference for uniting family members in the current immigration system. 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.


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