President Trump was joined by Georgia Senator David Perdue and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on Wednesday in the White House. These are the Republicans who first introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy, or the ‘RAISE Act’, in February.
They are calling for a merit-based system that would notably cut admissions on legal immigration over the next decade. Their legislation aims to reduce the number of green cards issued in half from 1 million to 500,000 a year.
The president called it “the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half century.”
President Trump said, “As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, and that is why we are here today.”
Trump, Perdue and Cotton agreed that low-skilled and unskilled immigration into the United States has caused lower wages.
The new system would favor immigrants who are educated, speak English and have high-paying job offers as well as reduce low-skilled and unskilled labor immigration.
Trump said new immigrants coming into the US must be able to “financially support themselves and their families.”
The president said, “The RAISE Act prevents new migrants and new immigrants from collecting welfare and protects U.S. workers from being displaced, and that’s a very big thing, they’re not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare.”
Immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and young children, would be included under the bill. Extended family members and adult children of residents would not be included.
Most of the 1 million immigrants who are accepted into the United States for legal permanent residency every year are low or unskilled workers and they compete with minority workers.
Trump said, “It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers.”
Fifty percent of immigrant households receive welfare benefits, compared to 30 percent of native households in the US.
President Trump has been determined to cut illegal immigration and it has become a trait of his administration. He has tried to diminish federal grants to cities (sanctuary cities) that refuse to comply with federal law.
The bill had been ignored in the Senate until now.