Bill aims to cut legal green card immigration by half.
President Trump supported a new bill that cuts legal immigration levels over a decade, Wednesday, which would profoundly change U.S. immigration policies that have been in place for half a century.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) flanked Trump as the White House released a modified version of a bill the senators introduced in April.
The legislation reflects the promises Trump made on the campaign trail, when he argued that legal immigration levels have impacted job opportunities for American workers.
“This would be the most significant reform to the immigration system in half a century,” said Trump.
The media director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Ira Mehlman, said the bill would “imbue our system with some meritocracy.” Reducing the burden on taxpayers that unskilled workers who enter the country impose.
Jeremy Robbins the executive director at New American Economy, an immigration think tank, voiced his opposition to the bill. “Virtually every economist who looks at this is going to find that immigration is good for the economy,” Robbins said.
The Press Secretary for the White House released a statement that said “just 1 out of every 15 immigrants to the United States comes here because of their skills.”
The statement continued to say that the bill puts American workers first, and that it will “prioritize immigrants based on the skills they bring to our Nation while safeguarding the jobs of American workers.”
During a White House briefing on the bill, an exchange between the president’s policy advisor, Stephen Miller, and CNN reporter Jim Acosta went viral when Acosta asked if the White House is “trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country.”
The bill also proposes to limit refugee levels to the U.S. at 50,000 a year.