Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Trump, senators unveil bill to slash legal immigration to US

Trump, senators unveil bill to slash legal immigration to US Trump, senators unveil bill to slash legal immigration to US
Christy Curtis | 03 August, 2017, 02:07

On Wednesday afternoon, Donald Trump unveiled controversial legislation aimed at reducing legal immigration in the United States.

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. Tom Cotton (AR) and David Perdue (GA) released an updated version of a bill that overhauls the country's legal immigration system, pushing forward the president's agenda to limit the number of foreigners entering the United States. The bill would limit the types of family members of immigrants that can also be brought to the USA to primarily spouses and minor children, would eliminate the worldwide diversity visa lottery and limit the number of annual refugee admissions.

"Nothing underscores the failure of our current immigration system like the constant clamoring from the business sector for more "skilled" workers, while we import over one million immigrants each and every year", FAIR said in a statement Wednesday.

Trump couched the Cotton-Perdue sponsored bill in the familiar language of resentment, arguing that such drastic measures "will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars".

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, for instance, immediately came out against the bill and said it would be "devastating to our state's economy which relies on this immigrant workforce".

The lawmakers also called to replace so-called "low-skill visas", typically granted to temporary and seasonal laborers, with a points-based system that would allow immigrants to receive a green card.

Senior director of worldwide migration policy Kevin Appleby of the Center for Migration Studies asserted that the bill would dramatically reduce the availability of cheap labor in the USA and fundamentally alter the fabric of the country's values. The bill would do that by taking away preference for immigrants who do not have immediate family members in the U.S.

Plans are to eliminate diversity lottery visas and limit the number of refugees offered permanent residency.

The bill faces an uphill climb in the Senate, however.

The current USA immigration system favours uniting family members with relatives already in the country.

Senator David Perdue said that the proposal was partially formulated based on immigration policies in Canada and Australia. They say the legislation would disproportionately affect immigrants from Asia, the Middle East, and African and Caribbean countries.

"Instead of today's low-skill system - just a bad system where anybody comes in, people that have never worked, people that are criminals, anybody comes in - we want a merit-based system, one that protects workers, our workers, our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy", Trump said.

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