One of President Donald Trump’s big promises was a vow to overhaul the immigration system in the United States, which many think is both outdated and broken.
But while Trump can make small changes to it through executive orders, he needs Congress to actually pass the legislation, and it looks like Congress is starting to takes steps in that direction, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton. R-Ark., have introduced the “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act” to drastically reduce the number of immigrants allowed into America.
This new legislation would reduce the number of refugees permitted into the United States to only 50,000, as well as reduce by 41 percent the number of immigrants who are granted legal status. In 10 years, that number would be 50 percent of 2015 levels, according to the Free Beacon. Just over 1 million people immigrated to the country that year.
The legislation would change the current immigration system to favor skilled workers entering the United States. And under the RAISE Act, the system would no longer give priority to the extended families of U.S. residents, though it does include some exceptions for elderly parents who need medical care.
“Over the last several decades, we’ve seen wages stagnate for blue-collar workers. At the same time, we’ve had record high numbers of unskilled and low-skilled immigration. I think those two things are directly connected,” he said.
Politico reported that Cotton has reached out the White House over his legislation, and the White House appeared to be “receptive” to the idea.
It is unclear how far this legislation will advance though, as Congress also has many other things to deal with that the Trump administration might give priority to over reforming legal immigration.
However, it is nice to see some progress being made in Congress on this issue. For far too long, senators and congressmen have simply talked about the issue and refused to act on it. While this bill may not be what is ultimately passed, at least it gives us a starting point, and that’s huge.
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