U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a radical proposal to reduce legal immigration with two Republican senators Wednesday at the White House.
Earlier this year, Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue introduced legislation that would cut legal immigration from 1 million to 500,000 people each year.
The bill, which has not moved through the Senate, also calls for limiting admission of migrants’ family members, ending the diversity visa lottery program, and making the process of obtaining “green cards” more difficult.
Trump has met twice with the senators to discuss the legislation, which is aimed at fulfilling one of his main policy goals in reforming America’s legal immigration system.
During a rally last week in the midwestern state of Ohio, Trump spoke of the legislation’s effects on low-skilled immigration and referred to it as a “merit-based” system.
“Instead of today’s low-skill system – just a terrible 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.
According to CNN report on Trump’s radical immigration bills:
Trump’s immigration plan favors English-speakers who are financially stable
President Trump’s immigration plan favors green card applicants who speak English and can financially support their families. Trump also pointed out that these applicants won’t be allowed on welfare when they come into the country.
Trump cast the proposal a way to protect American workers by reducing unskilled immigration.
“It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers,” Trump said of the current immigration system, specifically citing low-income and minority workers.
Trump: US switching to “merit-based” immigration system
President Trump unveiled a new immigration plan to move to a merit-based system, favoring green card applicants who speak English and can financially support their families, according to the President.
“Immigration demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families,” Trump said, adding that it “puts America first.”
The over-arching goal for this bill is to install a system where immigrants are allowed into the US based on their skills and contributions, rather than familial connections or a lottery.