One of President Trump’s main talking points since the start of his term has been that his administration has been putting a stop to illegal immigration. While the statistics that he uses aren’t the most accurate, and the number of attempted border crossings has gone up since late spring (matching trends from years, and administrations, past), Trump’s policies appear to be having some effect on illegal immigration. Naturally, after vowing to battle sanctuary cities, the administration now wants to crack down on legal immigration, too.
Wednesday President Trump appeared with Republican Senators David Perdue (GA) and Tom Cotton (AR) to unveil legislation of a new “merit and jobs skills” based immigration plan. The bill, called The Raise Act, “replaces our low-skilled system with a new points-based system for receiving a green card,” Trump said.
The bill, supported by this man, will “favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump added.
On top of those restrictions, the legislation will also: block new immigrants from receiving welfare benefits, limit the number of people who can receive green cards (even if their family members are already in the U.S.), and “eliminate a program that provides visas to countries with low rates of immigration.”
In July, Senator Cotton said the goal of the legislation was to reduce legal immigration by 50%.
Opponents of the bill, which until today had been largely ignored, even by other Republicans in the Senate, since it was introduced in February, say the legislation would hurt the economy and the agriculture industry.