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

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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 battle cry for the US Election 2020 campaign has just been sounded via US President's masterstroke Wednesday afternoon when he blessed the Reforming American Immigration For Strong Employment (RAISE) Act which aims to cut immigration by half from the current level of more than 1 million green cards granted per year and evaluate visa applications based on merit, with a preference for people with higher education or job skills.

"This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and puts America first", Trump said, speaking straight to his most loyal voters.

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 also proposed to eliminate certain pathways to family-based immigration, stipulating that only spouses and minor children of United States citizens and permanent residents would be eligible for green cards.

The updated RAISE Act, which has also been reported by the Washington Examiner, moves the focus of Trump's immigration agenda from cracking down on illegal immigration to reducing the number and types of people allowed to immigrate. The current system, Trump said, "has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers".

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The measure would prohibit new immigrants from collecting welfare, which Mr. Trump called "a very big thing".

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. It ultimately stalled in the Senate.

But the legislation faces an uphill climb to get through Congress where some senior Republicans back comprehensive immigration reform, not a tough crackdown. "Second, it cleans up our tangle of employment-based immigration categories by creating a streamlined points system designed to select exceptional talents".

"They're not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare.They can't do that", he said. "Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family".

But immigration advocates seized upon the bill Wednesday, arguing that not only are low-skilled immigrants and refugees essential to America's economy, but the proposed legislation does not actually create a "merit-based system" as Trump said.

Senator David Perdue said that the proposal was partially formulated based on immigration policies in Canada and Australia.

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