The bill is expected to half the number of immigrants legally admitted to the USA 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.
"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.
The RAISE Act prioritizes immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and minor children, but ends preferences for extended family members and adult children. "They're not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare", Trump added, relying again on the ugly stereotypes of immigrants as either lazy or risky that has regularly recycled since his campaign.
Our immigration system should continue to value families.
Graham said the legislation would primarily target immigrants who work in the state's agriculture, tourism, and service industries, and would even prompt greater amounts of illegal immigration.
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".
Plans are to eliminate diversity lottery visas and limit the number of refugees offered permanent residency. "The RAISE Act prevents new immigrants from collecting welfare and protects US workers from being displaced".
Trump has long said he wants to reform the nation's immigration system, but any plan to do that seems like less of a priority for an administration that is now focused on health care, tax reform and a host of global issues.
Framing the bill as a means to cut legal immigration rather than merely replace lower-skilled immigrants with higher-skilled ones will make Schumer's job easier.
"Restricting family members from joining their families in the United States will make it harder for them to become fully American", the National Immigration Forum's executive director Ali Noorani said in a statement. "What the merit-based system would do is bring our immigration policy more in line with what's good for American workers and taxpayers, so that's the overarching goal, and that I'm sure is the driving force behind talks with Congress and these senators".
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