Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Trump backs bill to cut legal immigration, slash green card issues

Live Stream || Trump, Senators to Propose Lowering Legal Immigration WATCH LIVE: Trump Host Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue for New Announcement
Lance Thomas | 03 August, 2017, 00:22

The bill's supporters, meanwhile, say it would make the US more competitive, raise wages and create jobs.

The initial bill, which stalled in the Senate for several months and is being reintroduced with certain changes, called for the elimination of the "diversity visa", would allocate 50,000 visas annually to people from countries with low immigration rates to the USA and place a cap on refugee admissions at 50,000 per year.

"This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy", Trump said.

It would also limit permanent resident status for refugees to 50,000 a year, which the White House says is in line with the average over the past 13 years.

The (National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine) report assembles research from 14 leading economists, demographers and other scholars, including some, like Marta Tienda of Princeton, who write favorably about the impacts of immigration and others who are skeptical of its benefits, like George J. Borjas, a Harvard economist. The bill would also eliminate the preference for USA residents' extended and adult family members, while maintaining priority for their spouses and minor children. The Trump Organization has asked for dozens of H-2B visas for foreign workers at two of Trump's private clubs in Florida, including his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Cotton and Perdue said their bill does not affect temporary visas for workers in certain tech sectors and seasonal jobs that are popular with many businesses. Immigrants admitted through the point system would be ineligible for welfare benefits for five years.

Trump said the measure "will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars".

Perdue said the proposed new immigration system will be both pro-growth and pro-economic growth. A little more than 1 million green cards were issued in 2015. Cotton and Perdue had introduced an original version of the bill in February but tweaked it after the legislation failed to gain traction amongst their fellow Senate Republicans. 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. A stunning 18 percent held an advanced degree, also much higher than the US average.

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". "It will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens", Trump said during the press conference, according to Business Insider.

Trump has previously said he wants people to come in on merit, but also rebuffed the idea that he wants to reduce legal immigration.

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

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