Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Let's Move Beyond Russia, White House Turmoil, Etc: President Trump pushes to sharply cut the number of legal immigrants and move U.S. to a "merit-based" immigration system


Photo courtesy of CNN

Brian Bennett of the Los Angeles Times reports that President Trump is pushing forward with his promise of a harder line on legal immigration, endorsing a proposal to slash the number of immigrants admitted to the United States while favoring those with certain education levels and skills.

Trump announced his support for such an overhaul of immigration law today at the White House with Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia).

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."

The article offers following information about the bill:

"The bill faces dim prospects in Congress, where nearly all Democrats and a sizable number of Republicans oppose its key provisions. But it reflects a central promise of Trump's campaign and the renewed emphasis the White House has made in recent weeks to appeal to the president's core supporters.

White House staff have been working closely with Cotton and Perdue for weeks on the legislation, which would restrict how the U.S. admits immigrants and move to what Trump has described as a "merit-based" system similar to that used in Australia and Canada.

The proposal "ends chain migration," Trump said, referring to the preference for uniting family members in the current immigration system. It would implement a points-based system for awarding lawful permanent residency, or green cards.

Foreign applicants would receive a higher score if they "speak English," can financially support themselves and have skills that "can contribute to our economy," Trump said.

The proposal has been praised by groups that advocate reduced immigration, including NumbersUSA and the Federation of Immigration Reform."

AILA has posted the bill on its website and states that the bill "would create a skills-based immigration points system, end the Diversity Visa Program, and reduce the number of family-based immigrants and refugees."   As the New York Times summarizes the bill "The legislation would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 a year and eliminate a diversity visa lottery that the sponsors said does not promote diversity. The senators said their bill was meant to emulate systems in Canada and Australia. . . . The projections cited by the sponsors said legal immigration would decrease to 637,960 after a year and to 539,958 after a decade."  (emphasis added).


Watch this video of Jim Acosta and Stephen Miller at the White House Press Briefing on August 2, 2017!

CNN’s Jim Acosta sparred with White House advisor Stephen Miller in a seriously heated back-and-forth over immigration. Acosta told Miller, “What you’re proposing or what the President’s proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration.” He quoted the words on the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” and asked Miller if he’s “trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country.” 

The end:

ACOSTA: Of course there are people who come in from other parts of the world.

MILLER: That’s not what you said and it shows your cosmopolitan bias.

ACOSTA: It just sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.

MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, ignorant, insulting, and foolish things you’ve ever said.


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